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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEC, LL.I). 

EDITED BY 
■j-T. E. PAGE, CH., LITT.D. 

|E. CAPPS, ph.u., ll.u. fW. H. D. ROUSE, liit.d. 

L. A. POST, l.h.u. E. H. WARMINGTON, m.a., f.r.hist.soc. 



PLINY 

NATURAL HISTORY 

VIII 

LIBRI XXVIII— XXXII 



PLINY 

NATURAL HISTORY 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION 
IN TEN VOLUMES 

VOLUME VIII 
LIBRI XXVIII-XXXII 

BY 

W. H. S. JONES, Litt.D., F.B.A., 

HONORARY 1'TCLLOVT, ST. CATIIARINE'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE 






CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

LONDON 

WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 

MCMLXIII 



(c) The Presideni and FeUowa of Harvard Goliege 1963 



Printed in Oreat Britain 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

INTRODUCTION Vii 

BOOK XXVIII 1 

BOOK XXIX 181 

book xxx 277 

book xxxi 377 

book xxxn 463 

ADDLTIONAL NOTES 563 

POPULAR MEDICTNE IN ANCTENT ITALY 569 

LIST OF DISEASES AND AFFECTIONS MENTIONED BY 

PLIXY 577 

LNDEX OF FISHES 5S5 



INTRODUCTION 

For the contents of this volunie there must be 
notcd the following additions to the authorities 
already mentioned: 

Codex Bambergensis, the oldest manuscript, 
lOth-century, with several correcting hands, styled B. 

Codex Toletanus, 13th century, of the same 
family as V, R, d, styled T. 

Green, Peter, Prolegomena to the study of Magic 
and snperstition in the Natural History of Pliny the 
Elder, L952, a typed doctoral thesis in the Cambridge 
L niversity Library. 

Wolters, X. F. M. G., Notes on Antique Folklore 
based on Pliny's Natural History XXVIII, 22-29, 
Amsterdam 1935. 

Professor E. H. Warmington translated Book 
XXXII, sections 142-154; and compiled the Index 
of Fishes. He expresses his grateful thanks to 
Professor A. C. Andrews of the University of Miami 
for invaluable help in the identification of aquatic 
creatures in Pliny ; and to members of the staff of 
the British Museum (Natural History), especially A. 
Wheeler, I. Galbraith, Miss J. E. King, Dr. Isabella 
Gordon, Miss A. M. Clark, and W. J. Rees, for bring- 
ing the scientific nomenclature up to date. 



PLINY : 

NATURAL HISTORY 

BOOK XXVIII 



VOL. VIII. 



PLINII NATURALIS HISTORIAE 
LIBER XXVIII 

I. Dicta erat natura omnium rerum inter caelum 
ac terram nascentium restabantque quae ex ipsa 
tellure fodiuntur, si non herbarum ac fruticum 
tractata remedia auferrent traversos ex ipsis animali- 
bus quae sanantur reperta maiore medicina. quid 
ergo? dixerimus herbas et florum imagines ac 
pleraque inventu rara ac difficilia, iidem tacebimus 
quid in ipso homine prosit homini ceteraque genera 
remediorum inter nos viventia, cum praesertim nisi 
carenti doloribus morbisque vita ipsa poena fiat ? 

2 minime vero, omnemque insumemus operam, licet 
fastidii periculum urgeat, quando ita decretum est, 
minorem gratiae quam utilitatium vitae respectum 
habere. quin immo externa quoque et barbaros 
etiam ritus indagabimus. fides tantum auctores 
appellet, quamquam et ipsi consensu prope iudicii 
ista eligere laboravimus potiusque curae rerum quam 

3 copiae institimus. illud admonuisse perquam neces- 

° Or, " to more potent remedies." So Littr6. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 



BOOK XXVIII 

I. I should have finished describing the character Remedie» 
of all things growing between heaven and earth, m° a ? s am 
leaving only whatever is dug out of the ground 
itself, if dealing with remedies derived from plants and 
shrubs did not make me digress to the wider sphere 
of medicines a obtained from the very living creatures 
that themselves are healed. Well then, shall I, who 
have described plants and forms of flowers, in- 
cluding many rare things that are difficult to find, 
say nothing about the benefits to man that are to be 
found in man himself, nothing about the other kinds 
of remedies that live among us, especially as life 
itself becomes a punishment for those who are not 
free from pains and diseases ? Surely I must, and I 
shall devote all my care to the task, although I 
realize the risk of causing disgust, since it is my 
fixed determination to have less regard for popularity 
than for benefiting human life. Furthermore, 
my investigations will include foreign things and even 
outlandish customs ; belief here can appeal only to 
authority, although I myself also, when choosing 
my detail, have striven to find views almost uni- 
versally beiieved, and I have stressed careful re- 
search rather than abundance of material. One 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sarium est, dictas iam a nobis naturas animalium et 
quae cuiusque essent inventa — neque enim minus 
profuere medicinas reperiendo quam prosunt prae- 
bendo — nunc quae in ipsis auxilientur indicari, 
neque illic in totum omissa, itaque haec esse quidem 
alia, illis tamen conexa. 

II. Incipiemus autem ab homine ipsum sibi 
exquirente, 1 inmensa statim difficultate obvia. 
sanguinem quoque gladiatorum bibunt ut viventibus 
poculis comitiales [morbi], 2 quod spectare facientes 
in eadem harena feras quoque horror est. at, 
Hercule, illi ex homine ipso sorbere efficacissimum 
putant calidum spirantemque et vivam 3 ipsam 
animam ex osculo vulnerum, cum plagis omnino ne 4 
ferarum quidem admoveri ora mos sit humanus. 5 alii 
medullas crurum quaerunt et cerebrum infantium. 
nec pauci apud Graecos singulorum viscerum mem- 
brorumque etiam sapores dixere omnia persecuti ad 
resigmina unguium, quasi vero sanitas videri possit 
feram ex homine fieri morboque dignum in ipsa 
medicina, egregia, Hercules, frustratione, si non 
prosit. aspici humana exta nefas habetur, quid 

1 exquirente Urlichs : exquirentes RdE : exquirentis V. 
8 morbi in uncis Mayhoff. Sed cf. § 7 e t § 35. 

3 vivani Detlefsen : unam codd. : una Warmington. 

4 omnino ne Mayhoff : omne V 2 Er : ne Gelenius, 
Detlefsen. 

6 mos sit humanus Mayhoff : fas sit. humanas Detlefsen. 
mos Tf : mus V X R : mus fas V 2 : fas Er : humanus omnes 
codd. 



a See VIII. §§ 97 foU. and XXV. §§ 89 foll. 
6 This seems to refer to the difficulty discussed in §§ 10 
foll. Perhaps the rest of the chapter is an afterthought of 



BOOK XXVIII. i. 3-n. 5 

thing it is very necessary to point out : I have 
already described a the natures of living creatures 
and the discoveries \ve owe to each (for they did no 
less good by discovering medicines than they do by 
supplying them), I am now showing what help is 
to be found in the creatures themselves. I did not 
entirely leave out this then ; so although the new 
matter is diiferent, it is yet intimately connected 
with the old. 

II. But I shall begin with man seeking aid for Remedies 
himself out of himself, and at the outset there ml\ frommm ' 
meet us a most baffling puzzle. /j The blood too of 
gladiators is drunk by epileptics as though it were a 
draught of life, though we shudder with horror when 
in the same arena we look at even the beasts doing 
the same thing. But, by Heaven!, the patients 
think itfmost effectual to suck from a man himself 
warm, living blood, and putting their lips to the 
wound c to drain the very life, although it is not the 
custom of men to apply their mouths at all to the 
wounds even of wild beasts. Others seek to secure 
the leg-marrow and the brain of infants. Not a 
few among the Greeks have even spoken of the flavour 
of each organ and limb, going into all details, not 
excluding nail parings ; just as though it could be 
thought health for a man to become a beast, and to 
deserve disease as punishment in the very process 
of healing. d And, by Heaven !, well deserved is the 
disappointment if these remedies prove of no avail. 
To look at human entrails is considered sin ; what 

Pliny; Mayhoff, while reading quoque in his text, suggests 
quippe in his textual notes. 

e Perhaps, " by kissing the wounds," or, as Littre, " from the 
gaping wounds." 

d Or : " for the very remedies he adopts." 

5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

6 mandi ? quis ista invenit, Osthane ? tecum enim 
res erit, eversor iuris humani monstrorumque artifex 
qui primus ea condidisti, credo, ne vita tui oblivis- 
ceretur. quis invenit singula membra humana 
mandere ? qua coniectura inductus ? quam potest 
medicina ista originem habuisse ? quis veneficia 
innocentiora fecit quam remedia ? esto, barbari 
externique ritus invenerant, etiamne Graeci suas 

7 fecere has artes ? extant commentationes Demo- 
criti ad aliud noxii hominis ex capite ossa plus 
prodesse, ad alia amici et hospitis. iam vero 
vi interempti dente gingivas in dolore scariphari 
Apollonius emcacissimum scripsit, Meletos oculorum 
suffusiones felle hominis sanari. Artemon calvaria 
interfecti neque cremati propinavit aquam e fonte 
noctu comitialibus morbis. ex eadem suspendio 
interempti catapotia fecit contra canis rabiosi 

8 morsus Antaeus. atque etiam quadrupedes homine * 
sanavere, contra inflationes boum perforatis cornibus 
inserentes ossa humana, ubi homo occisus esset aut 
crematus siliginem quae pernoctasset suum morbis 
dando. procul a nobis nostrisque litteris absint 
ista. nos auxilia dicemus, non piacula, sicubi lactis 
puerperarum usus mederi poterit, sicubi saliva 

9 tactusve corporis ceteraque similia. vitam quidem 

1 homine Pintianus, Mayhoff : homines codd.. Detlefsen. 

° A Persian Magus of the early fifth century b.c. to whom 
were attributed many works on oriental magic. 

6 Possibly, " guess-work." 

e Diogenes Laertius attributes to this philosopher works on 
medicine and regimen, and probabry many spurious works 
also were foisted on him. 

d Probably a physician who lived in the first century b.c. 

* An unknown. 

6 



BOOK XXVIII. ii. 6-9 

must it be to eat them ? Who was the first, 
Osthanes, to think of such devices as yours ? For 
it is you who must bear the blame, you destroyer of 
human rights and worker of horrors ; you were their 
first founder, in order, I suppose, to perpetuate your 
memory. Who first thought of chewing one by 
one human limbs ? What soothsaying b guided 
him ? What origin could your medical practices 
have had ? Who made magic potions more innocent 
than their remedies ? Granted that foreigners and 
barbarians had discovered the rites, did the Greeks 
also make these arts their own ? There is extant a 
treatise of Democritus c stating that one complaint 
is more benefited by bones from the head of a 
criminal, and other complaints by those of a friend 
or guest. Moreover, Apollonius d put in writing that 
to scrape sore gums with the tooth of a man killed by 
violence is most efficacious, and Meletos e that the 
gall of a human being cures cataract. Artemon/ 
treated epilepsy with draughts of water drawn from 
a spring by night and drunk out of the skull of a man 
killed but not cremated. From the skull of a man 
hanged x\ntaeus 9 made pills to cure the bites of a 
mad dog. Even quadrupeds too have been cured by 
remedies taken from a man ; to cure flatulence in 
oxen their horns have been pierced and human 
bones inserted ; for sick pigs wheat has been given 
which had remained for a whole night where a man 
had been killed or cremated. Far from me and my 
writings be such horrors. I shall speak not of sins 
but of aids, such as when will prove an effective 
remedy the milk of lying-in women, or human saliva, 
or contact with a human body, and the like. I do 

f An unknown. « An unknown. 

7 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

non adeo expetendam censemus ut quoquo modo 
trahenda sit. quisquis es talis, 1 aeque moriere, 
etiam cum 2 obscaenus vixeris aut nefandus. 
quapropter hoc primum quisque in remediis animi 
sui habeat, ex omnibus bonis quae homini tribuit 
natura nullum melius esse tempestiva morte, idque 
in ea optimum quod illam sibi quisque praestare 
poterit. 

10 III. Ex homine remediorum primum maximae 
quaestionis et semper incertae est, polleantne 3 
aliquid verba et incantamenta carminum. quod 
si verum est, homini acceptum fieri oportere con- 
veniat, sed viritim sapientissimi cuiusque respuit 
fides, in universum vero omnibus horis credit vita 
nec sentit. quippe victimas caedi sine precatione 

11 non videtur referre aut deos rite consuli. praeterea 
alia sunt verba inpetritis, alia depulsoriis, alia 
commendationis, videmusque certis precationibus 
obsecrasse 4 summos magistratus et, ne quod ver- 
borum praetereatur aut praeposterum dicatur, de 
scripto praeire aliquem rursusque alium custodem 
dari qui adtendat, alium vero praeponi qui favere 
linguis iubeat, tibicinem canere, ne quid aliud ex- 
audiatur, utraque memoria insigni, quotiens ipsae 

1 Comma ante talis trans. Mayhoff. 

2 etiam cum multi codd., vulg., Detlefsen : etiam quam 
VT : tamquam Mayhoff. 

3 polleantne VRdTf Mayhoff : valeantne Er vulg., Detlefsen. 

4 obsecrasse] obsecrare coni. Mayhoff. 



a With MayhofFs reading : " Whoever you are, as such 
you will die, just as if your life will have been one of foulness 
or sin." 

8 



BOOK XXVIII. ii. 9-111. n 

not indeed hold that life ought to be so prized that 
by any and every means it should be prolonged. 
You holding this view, whoever you are, will none 
the less die, even though you may have lived longer 
through foulness or sin.° Wherefore let every man 
consider that first among the remedies for his soul 
is this : that of all the blessings given to man by 
Nature none is greater than a timely death, and herein 
the brightest feature is that each man can have the 
power to bestow it on himself. 

III. Of the remedies derived from man, the first Havewords 
raises a most important question, and one never power - 
settled : have words and formulated incantations 
any effect ? If they have, it would be right and 
proper to give the credit to mankind. As individuals, 
however, all our wisest men reject belief in them, 
although as a body the public at all times believes in 
them unconsciously. In fact the sacrifice of victims 
without a prayer is supposed to be of no effect ; 
without it too the gods are not thought to be properly 
consulted. Moreover, there is one form of words 
for getting favourable omens, another for averting 
evil, and yet another for a commendation. We see 
also that our chief magistrates have adopted fixed 
formulas for their prayers ; that to prevent a word's 
being omitted or out of place a reader dictates 
beforehand the prayer from a script ; that another 
attendant is appointed as a guard to keep watch, 
and yet another is put in charge to maintain a strict 
silence ; that a piper plays so that nothing but the 
prayer is heard. Remarkable instances of both kinds 
of interference are on record : cases when the noise of 
actual ill omens has ruined the prayer, or when a mis- 
take has been made in the prayer itself ; then sud- 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dirae obstrepentes nocuerint quotiensve precatio 
erraverit, sic repente extis adimi capita vel corda 

12 aut geminari victima stante. durat inmenso exemplo 
Deciorum patris filiique quo se devovere carmen, 
extat Tucciae Vestalis incesti deprecatio qua usa 
aquam in cribro tulit anno urbis DXYIIII. boario 
vero in foro Graecum Graecamque defossos aut 
aliarum gentium cum quibus tum res esset etiam 
nostra aetas vidit. cuius sacri precationem qua 
solet praeire XVvirum collegii magister si quis 
legat, profecto vim carminum fateatur, ea omnia 
adprobantibus DCCCXXX annorum eventibus. 

13 Vestales nostras hodie credimus nondum egressa 
urbe mancipia fugitiva retinere in loco precatione, 
cum, si semel recipiatur ea ratio et deos preces 
aliquas exaudire aut ullis moveri verbis, confitendum 
sit de tota coniectatione. prisci quidem nostri 
perpetuo talia prodidere, dimcillimumque ex his 
etiam fulmina elici, ut suo loco docuimus. 

14 IV. L. Piso primo annalium auctor est Tullum 
Hostilium regem ex Numae libris eodem quo illum 
sacrificio Iovem caelo devocare conatum, quoniam 
parum rite quaedam fecisset, fulmine ictum, multi 
vero magnarum rerum fata et ostenta verbis per- 



See Livy VIII. 9 and X. 28. 

See Valerius Maximus VIII. 1. 

145 b.c. 

Plutarch Roman Questions 283. 

Or: "all magical charms must be accepted." 

See Book II. § 140. 

Consul in 133 B.e. and an opponent of the Gracchi. 



BOOK XXVIII. iii. ii-iv. 14 

denlv the head of the liver, or the heart, has dis- 
appeared from the entrails, or these have been 
doubled, while the victim was standing. There has 
come down to us a striking example of ritual in that 
with which the Decii,° father and son, devoted them- 
selves ; extant too is the plea of innocence uttered by 
the Vestal Tuccia b when, accused of unchastity, she 
carried water in a sieve, in the year of the City six 
hundred and nine. c Our own generation indeed even 
saw buried alive in the Cattle Market a Greek man 
and a Greek woman, and victims from other peoples 
with whom at the time we were at war. d The prayer 
used at this ceremony is wont to be dictated by the 
Master of the College of the Quindecimviri, and if one 
reads it one is forced to admit that there is power in 
ritual formulas, the events of eight hundred and thirty 
years showing this for all of them. It is believed 
today that our Vestal virgins by a spell root to the 
spot runawav slaves, provided they have not left the 
City bounds, and yet, if this view is once admitted, 
that the gods hear certain prayers, or are moved 
by any form of words, the whole question must be 
answered in the affirmative/ Our ancestors, indeed, 
reported such wonders again and again, and that, 
most impossible of all, even lightning can be brought 
by charms from the sky, as I have mentioned/ on 
the proper occasion. 

IV. Lucius Piso 9 in the first Book of his Annals 
tells us that King Tullus Hostilius used the same 
sacrificial ritual as Xuma, which he found in Xuma's 
books, in an attempt to draw Jupiter down from the 
sky, and was struck by lightning because he made 
certain mistakes in the ceremony ; many indeed 
assure us that by words the destinies and omens of 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

15 mutari. cum in Tarpeio fodientes delubro funda- 
menta caput humanum invenissent, missis ob id ad 
se legatis Ktruriae celeberrimus vates Olenus Calenus 
praeclarum id fortunatumque cernens interrogatione 
in suam gentem transferre temptavit. scipione prius 
determinata templi imagine in solo ante se : Hoc 
ergo dicitis, Romani ? hic templum Iovis optimi 
maximi futurum est, hic caput invenimus ? constan- 
tissima annalium adfirmatione transiturum fuisse 
fatum in Etruriam, ni praemoniti a filio vatis legati 
Romani respondissent : Non plane hic sed Romae 

16 inventum caput dicimus. iterum id accidisse tra- 
dunt, cum in fastigium eiusdem delubri praeparatae 
quadrigae fictiles in fornace crevissent, et iterum 

17 simili modo retentum augurium. haec satis sint 
exemplis ut appareat ostentorum vires et in nostra 
potestate esse ac prout quaeque accepta sint ita 
valere. in augurum certe disciplina constat neque 
diras neque ulla auspicia pertinere ad eos qui 
quamcumque * rem ingredientes observare se ea 
negaverint, quo munere divinae indulgentiae maius 
nullum est. quid ? non et legum ipsarum in duo- 

18 decim tabulis verba sunt : qui fruges excantassit, et 
alibi : qui malum carmen incantassit ? Verrius Flaccus 
auctores ponit quibus credatur 2 in obpugnationibus 

1 qui quamcumque coni. Mayhoff : quicumque Detlefsen : 
qui quamque Mayhoff in textu, RdE vulg. : quicquam quae V. 

2 credatur Warmington : credat codd. 

a Perhaps " obviously." 

6 See Remains of Old Latin (Loeb) vol. III, pp. 474, 475 and 
478, 479. 

c A distinguished writer of the latter part of the first 
century b.c. He wrote on history and antiquities, dying in 
the reign of Tiberius. 



BOOK XXVIII. iv. 15-18 

mighty events are changed. During the digging 
of foundations for a shrine on the Tarpeian Hill 
there was discovered a human head. For an inter- 
pretation envoys were sent to Olenus of Cales, the 
most distinguished seer of Etruria. Perceiving that 
the sign portended glory and success, Olenus tried 
by questioning to divert the blessing to his own 
people. He first traced with his staff the outline of a 
temple on the ground in front of him, and then 
asked: " Is this then, Romans, what you say? 
' Here will be the temple of Jupiter, All-good and 
Almighty ; here we found the head ? ' ' The Annals 
most firmly insists that the destiny of Rome would 
have passed to Etruria, had not the Roman envoys, 
forewarned by the seer's son, replied : " Not exactly ° 
here, but it was in Rome that we say the head was 
found." It is said that the same thing happened 
again when a clay four-horse chariot, designed for the 
roof of the same shrine, grew larger in the furnace, 
and once more in a similar way was the happy 
augury retained. Let these instances suffice to show 
that the power of omens is really in our own con- 
trol, and that their influence is conditional upon the 
way we receive each. At any rate, in the teaching of 
the augurs it is a fundamental principle that neither 
evil omens nor any auspices affect those who at the 
outset of any undertaking declare that they take 
no notice of them ; no greater instance of the divine 
mercy could be found than this boon. Again, in 
the actual laws of the Twelve Tables we find also 
thesewords: 6 " Whoever shall have bewitched the 
crops," and in another place : " whoever shall have 
cast an evil spell." Verrius Flaccus c cites trustworthy 
authorities to show that it was the custom, at the 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ante omnia solitum a Romanis sacerdotibus evocari 
deum cuius in tutela id oppidum esset promittique 
illi eundem aut ampliorem apud Romanos cultum. 
et durat in pontificum disciplina id sacrum, constat- 
que ideo occultatum in cuius dei tutela Roma esset, 

19 ne qui hostium simili modo agerent. defigi quidem 
diris deprecationibus nemo non metuit. hoc pertinet 
ovorum quae exorbuerit quisque calices coclearum- 
que protinus frangi aut isdem coclearibus perforari. 
hinc Theocriti apud Graecos, Catulli apud nos 
proximeque Vergilii incantamentorum amatoria imi- 
tatio. multi figlinarum opera rumpi credunt tali 
modo, non pauci etiam serpentes ; ipsas recanere 
et hunc unum illis esse intellectum contrahique 
Marsorum cantu etiam in nocturna quiete. etiam x 
parietes incendiorum deprecationibus conscribuntur. 

20 neque est facile dictu externa verba atque ineffabilia 
abrogent fidem validius an Latina inopinata et 2 
quae inridicula videri cogit animus semper aliquid 
inmensum exspectans ac dignum deo movendo, 

21 immo vero quod numini imperet. dixit Homerus 
profluvium sanguinis vulnerato femine Ulixen inhi- 
buisse carmine, Theophrastus ischiadicos sanari, 
Cato prodidit luxatis membris carmen auxiliare, 

1 etiam multi codd. Detlefsen : iam d, Mayhoff. 

2 et post Latina trans. Mayhoff. 



■ See Idyll II. 

6 See Eclogues VIII. The Catullus passages are not extant. 

c Referring to the so-called Ephesia grammata and gibberish 
of many incantations. 

d See Odyssey XIX. 457, where it is not Odysseus, but 
Autolycus and his sons that effect the cure. 

8 See Athenaeus XIV. 18. 

14 



BOOK XXVIII. iv. 18-21 

very beginning of a siege, for the Roman priests 
to call forth the divinity under whose protection 
the besieged town was, and to promise him the 
same or even more splendid worship among the 
Roman people. Down to the present day this 
ritual has remained part of the doctrine of the 
Pontiffs, and it is certain that the reason why the 
tutelary deity of Rome has been kept a secret 
is to prevent any enemy from acting in a similar 
way. There is indeed nobody who does not fear 
to be spell-bound by imprecations. A similar feel- 
ing makes everybody break the shells of eggs or 
snails immediately after eating them, or else 
pierce them with the spoon that they have used. 
And so Theocritus ° among the Greeks, Catullus 
and quite recently Virgil b among ourselves, have 
represented love charms in their poems. Many 
believe that by charms pottery can be crushed, 
and not a few even serpents ; that these themselves 
can break the spell, this being the only kind of 
intelligence they possess ; and by the charms of the 
Marsi they are gathered together even when asleep 
at night. On walls too are written prayers to avert 
fires. It is not easy to say whether our faith is more 
violently shaken by the foreign, unpronounceable 
words, c or by the unexpected Latin ones, which 
our mind forces us to consider absurd, being always 
on the look-out for something big, something ade- 
quate to move a god, or rather to impose its will on 
his divinity. Homer said that by a magic formula 
Ulvsses d stayed the haemorrhage from his wounded 
thigh ; Theophrastus e that there is a formula to 
cure sciatica ; Cato / handed down one to set dis- 

/ See Cato CLX. 

15 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

M. Yarro podagris. Caesarem dictatorem post 
unum ancipitem vehiculi casum ferunt semper ut 
primum consedisset, id quod plerosque nunc facere 
scimus, carmine ter repetito securitatem itinerum 
aucupari solitum. 

22 V. Libet hanc partem singulorum quoque con- 
scientia coarguere. cur enim primum anni inci- 
pientes * diem laetis precationibus invicem faustum 
ominamur? cur publicis lustris etiam nomina 
victimas ducentium prospera eligimus ? cur effasci- 
nationibus adoratione peculiari occurrimus, alii 
Graecam Nemesin invocantes, cuius ob id Romae 
simulacrum in Capitolio est, quamvis Latinum 

23 nomen non sit ? cur ad mentionem defunctorum 
testamur memoriam eorum a nobis non sollicitari? 
cur inpares numeros ad omnia vehementiores cre- 
dimus, idque in febribus dierum observatione intel- 
legitur? cur ad primitias pomorum haec vetera 
esse dicimus, alia nova optamus ? cur sternuentes 
salutamus, quod etiam Tiberium Caesarem, tristis- 
simum, ut constat, hominum in vehiculo exegisse 
tradunt, et aliqui nomine quoque consalutare re- 

24 ligiosius putant ? quin et absentes tinnitu aurium 
praesentire sermones de se receptum est. Attalus 
adfirmat, scorpione viso si quis dicat duo, cohiberi 
nec vibrare ictus, et quoniam scorpio admonuit, in 

1 incipientes V( ?)E Detlefsen : incipientis Mayhoff. 

a See Varro R.R. I. ii. 27. 

6 Or (Wolters), " their rest is not being disturbed." 

c Or, " the more scrupulous think that they must." 

d Probably not Attalus III, King of Pergamus, who died 

in 133 b.c. Perhaps an unknown physician. See Wolters, p. 52. 
6 " Africa was personified, in the time of Hadrian, as a 

woman, represented in divers ways on bronze coins, with a 

scorpion in her hand or on her head " (Wolters, p. 56). 

16 



BOOK XXVIII. iv. 21-V. 24 

located limbs, Marcus Yarro ° one for gout. The 
dictator Caesar, after one serious accident to his 
carriage, is said ahvays, as soon as he was seated, to 
have been in the habit of repeating three times a 
formula of prayer for a safe journey, a thing we know 
that most people do today. 

V. I should like to reinforce this part of my whyare 
argument by adding an appeal to the personal JtftSET 
feeling of the individual. Why on the first day of the 
year do we wish one another cheerfully a happy 
and prosperous New Year ? Why do we also, on 
days of general purification, choose persons with 
lucky names to lead the victims ? Why do we 
meet the evil eye by a special attitude of prayer, 
some invoking the Greek Nemesis, for which purpose 
there is at Rome an image of the goddess on the 
Capitol, although she has no Latin name ? Why 
on mentioning the dead do we protest that their 
memory is not being attacked by us ? b Why do we 
believe that in all matters the odd numbers are 
more powerful, as is implied by the attention 
paid to critical days in fevers ? Whj at the harvest 
of the first-fruits do we say : " These are old," and 
pray for new ones to take their place ? Why do 
we say " Good health " to those who sneeze ? This 
custom according to report even Tiberius Caesar, 
admittedly the most gloomy of men, insisted on 
even in a carriage, and some think it more effective c 
to add to the salutation the name of the sneezer. 
Moreover, according to an accepted belief absent 
people can divine by the ringing in their ears that 
they are the object of talk. Attalus d assures us that 
if on seeing a scorpion one says " Two," it is checked 
and does not strike. The mention of scorpions e 

17 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Africa nemo destinat aliquid nisi praefatus Africam,in 
ceteris vero gentibus deos ante obtestatus ut velint. 
nam si mensa adsit, 1 anulum ponere translatitium 
videmus, quoniam etiam mutas 2 religiones pollere 

25 manifestum est. alius saliva post aurem digito 
relata sollicitudinem animi propitiat. pollices, cum 
faveamus, premere etiam proverbio iubemur. in 
adorando dextram ad osculum referimus totumque 
corpus circumagimus, quod in laevum fecisse Galliae 
religiosius credunt. fulgetras poppysmis adorare 

26 consensus gentium est. incendia inter epulas nomi- 
nata aquis sub mensam profusis abominamur. 
recedente aliquo ab epulis simul verri solum aut 
bibente conviva mensam vel repositorium tolli in- 
auspicatissimum iudicatur. Ser. Sulpicii principis 
viri commentatio est quamobrem mensa linquenda 3 
non sit, nondum enim plures quam convivae numera- 
bantur. nam sternumento revocari ferculum men- 
samve, si non postea gustetur aliquid, inter diras 

1 mensa adsit VRd, Mayhoff : mens adflicta sit Detlefsen. 

2 mutas Sillig : multas codd. : quin etiam mutas . . . est ; 
nam si mensa adsit Wolters. 

3 linquenda codd. : admovenda Wolters, qui nondum . . . 
numerabantur in uncis ponit. 



a Mayhoff would emend this dubious Plinian nam to iam, 
which is an improvement, but to transpose the clauses of this 
sentence (with Wolters) makes it possible to give nam its 
usual meaning : " Moreover, it is clear that actions even 
without words have powers, for it is a universal custom, we 
see, etc." 

18 



BOOK XXVIII. v. 24-26 

reminds me that in Africa nobody decides on any- 

thing without first saying " Africa," whereas among 

all other peoples a man prays first for the approval 

of the gods. But a when a table is ready it is a 

universal custom, we see, to take offone's ring, since 

it is clear that scrupulous actions, even without words, 

have their powers. Some people, to calm mental 

anxiety, carry saliva with the finger to behind the ear. 

There is even a proverb that bids us turn down b our 

thumbs to show approval. In worshipping we 

raise our right hand to our lips and turn round our 

whole body, the Gauls considering it more effective c 

to make the turn to the left. All peoples agree in 

worshipping lightning by clucking with the tongue. superstition* 

If during a banquet fires have been mentioned we nt table - 

avert the omen by pouring water under the table. 

It is supposed to be a most unlucky sign for the floor 

to be swept while a diner is leaving the banquet, or 

for a table or dumb-waiter to be removed while a 

guest is drinking. Servius Sulpicius/* a noble Roman, 

has left an essay on why we should not leave the 

table ; € for in his day it was not the custom to have 

more tables than there were guests ; for if a course 

or a table is recalled by a sneeze and nothing of it 

tasted afterwards, it is considered an evil portent, as 

6 See Mayor on Juvenal III. 36. Wolters translates 
premere " to enclose." 

c So Wolters, making religiosius objective. Perhaps, 
however, it is subjective, meaning " more devout." 

d A contemporary of Cicero, who took part in the troublous 
politics of the period. 

e A difficult sentence. Wolters reads admovenda for 
linquenda and brackets nondum . . . numerabantur as a gloss. 
He also brackets aut omnino non esse. Much of the difficulty 
of this passage comes from the ambiguity of the word mensa. 
See the additional note A, page 563. 

19 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

27 habetur, aut omnino non 1 esse. haec instituere illi 
qui omnibus negotiis horisque interesse credebant 
deos, et ideo placatos etiam vitiis nostris reliquerunt. 
quin et repente conticescere convivium adnotatum 
est 2 non nisi in pari praesentium numero, isque 
famae labor est ad quemcumque eorum pertinens. 
cibus etiam e manu prolapsus reddebatur 3 utique 
per mensas, vetabantque munditiarum causa deflare, 
et sunt condita auguria, quid loquenti cogitantive 
id acciderit, inter execratissima, si pontifici accidat 
dicis causa epulanti. in mensa utique id reponi 

28 adolerique ad Larem piatio est. medicamenta 
priusquam adhibeantur in mensa forte deposita 
negant prodesse. ungues resecari nundinis Romanis 
tacenti atque a digito indice multorum persuasione 4 
religiosum est, capillum vero contra defluvia ac 
dolores capitis XVII luna atque XXVIIII. pagana 
lege in plerisque Italiae praediis cavetur ne mulieres 
per itinera ambulantes torqueant fusos aut omnino 
detectos ferant, quoniam adversetur id omnium spei, 

29 praecipue frugum. M. Servilius Nonianus princeps 

1 non Oelenius : nam E : inane fere omnes codd., Mayhoff, 
qui lacunam post habetur indicat : del. aut . . . esse Wolters. 

2 est codd. : set Mayhoff. 

3 Ante reddebatur addit non Wolters. 

4 multorum persuasione Mayhoff : mulierum peculiare 
Detlefsen : multorum pecuniae codd. Fortasse opinione 
(Haupt). 

° This could mean : " either considered an evil portent or 
none at all." (Warmington.) 

6 Littre says " malgre nos vices." 

e So Bostock and Riley, and also Wolters, but Littre has : 
" de l'un quelconque d'entre eux." 

d The emendation of Wolters : " used not to be put back," 
is more in accordance with customs elsewhere. 

20 



BOOK XXVIII. v. 26-29 

is to eat nothing at all.° These customs were estab- 
lished by those of old, who believed that gods are 
present 011 all occasions and at all times, and there- 
fore left them to us reconciled even in our faults. 5 
Moreover, it has been remarked that a sudden silence 
falls on a banquet only when the number of those 
present is even, and that it portends danger to the 
reputation of each c of them. Food also that fell from 
the hand used to be put back d at least during courses, 
and it was forbidden to blow off, for tidiness, any 
dirt ; e auguries have been recorded from the words 
or thoughts of the diner who dropped food, a very 
dreadful omen being if the Pontiff should do so at a 
formal dinner. In any case putting it back on the 
table and burning it before the Lar counts as expia- 
tion./ Medicines set down by chance on a table 
before being used are said to lose their efficacy. 
To cut the nails on the market days at Rome in various 
silence, beginning with the forefinger, is a custom ° s titions f 
many people feel binding on them ; while to cut the 
hair on the seventeenth day of the month and on the 
twenty-ninth prevents its falling out as well as 
headaches. A country rule observed on most 
Italian farms forbids women to twirl their spindles 
while walking along the road, or even to carry them 
uncovered, on the ground that such action blights 
the hopes of everything, especially the hope of a 
good harvest. Marcus Servilius Nonianus,? a leading 

e Wolters thinks that deflare here means, " to remove." Per- 
haps: " blow off any crumbs to tidy up." So Warmington. 

f Wolters translates " as sin." He says that piatio here 
is the same as piaculum, holding that dropped food was left 
where it was. 

9 Consul a.d. 35, died 59, and known personally to Pliny, 
who mentions him several times. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORV 

civitatis non pridem in metu lippitudinis, priusquam 
ipse eam nominaret aliusve ei praediceret, duabus 
litteris Graecis PA chartam inscriptam circumligatam 
lino subnectebat collo, Mucianus ter consul eadem 
observatione viventem muscam in linteolo albo, 
his remediis carere ipsos lippitudine praedicantes. 
carmina quidem extant contra grandines contraque 
morborum genera contraque ambusta, quaedam 
etiam experta, sed prodendo obstat ingens verecundia 
in tanta animorum varietate. quapropter de his 
ut cuique Hbitum fuerit opinetur. 

30 VI. Hominum monstrificas naturas et veneficos 
aspectus diximus in portentis gentium et multas 
animalium proprietates, quae repeti supervacuum 
est. quorundam hominum tota corpora prosunt, 
ut ex his familiis quae sunt terrori serpentibus 
tactu ipso levant percussos suctuve madido, 1 quorum 
e genere sunt Psylli Marsique et qui Ophiogenes 
vocantur in insula Cypro, ex qua familia legatus 
Evagon nomine a consulibus Romae in dolium 
serpentium coniectus experimenti causa circum- 

31 mulcentibus linguis miraculum praebuit. signum 
eius familiae est, si modo adhuc durat, vernis tem- 
poribus odoris virus. atque eorum sudor quoque 

1 madido E Detlefsen : modo Mayhoff : tumodo R : 
tumido multi codd. 



a These letters have no hidden meaning ; " they probably 
belong to the abracadabra of magic " (Wolters). Perhaps 
they were intended to be the last two letters of it. 

6 C. Licinius Mucianus was consul for the third time in 
A.D. 72. Jn (58-69 he was governor of Syria with a command 
of four legions. See Tacitus Histories I. 10. 

c SeeBook VII. S§ 1 3 foll. 



BOOK XXVIII. v. 29-vi. 31 

citizen of Rome, who was not so long ago afraid 
of ophthalmia, used to tie round his neck, before he 
mentioned the disease himself or any one else 
spoke to him about it, a sheet of paper fastened 
with thread, on which were written the two Greek 
letters rho and alpha ; ° Mucianus,^ three times 
consul, following the same observance, used a living 
fly in a white linen bag. Both avowed that by 
these remedies they themselves were kept free from 
ophthalmia. We certainly still have formulas to 
charm away hail, various diseases, and burns, some 
actually tested by experience, but I am very shy of 
quoting them, because of the widely different feel- 
ings they arouse. Wherefore everyone must form 
his own opinion about them as he pleases. 

VI. Persons possessed of powers of witchcraft Peopie witfi 
and of the e\il eye, along with many peculiar ^wels. 
characteristics of animals, I have spoken of c when 
dealing with marvels of the nations ; it is superfluous 
to go over the ground again. Of certain men the 
whole bodies are beneflcent, for example the members 
of those families that frighten serpents. These 
by a mere touch or by wet suction d relieve bitten 
victims. In this class are the Psylli, the Marsi, 
and the Ophiogenes, as they are called, in the island 
of Cyprus. An envoy from this family, by name 
Evagon, was at Rome thrown by the consuls as a 
test into a cask of serpents, which to the general 
amazement licked him all over. A feature of 
this family, if it still survives, is the foul smell of its 
members in spring. Their sweat also, not only 

d There is much to be said for MayhofFs modo, " only." 
But madido suggests that much fluid was drawn from the 
wound. Salmasius in fact conjectured umido. 

23 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

medebatur, non modo saliva. nam in insula Nili 
Tentyri nascentes tanto sunt crocodilis terrori ut 
vocem quoque eorum fugiant. horum omnium 
generum insita * repugnantia interventum quoque 
mederi constat, sicuti adgravari vulnera introitu 
eorum qui umquam fuerint serpentium canisve dente 

32 laesi. iidem gallinarum incubitus, pecorum fetus 
abortu vitiant. tantum remanet virus ex accepto 
semel malo ut venefici fiant venena passi. remedio 
est ablui prius manus eorum aquaque illa eos quibus 
medearis inspergi. rursus a scorpione aliquando 
percussi numquam postea a crabronibus, vespis 

33 apibusve feriuntur. minus miretur hoc qui sciat 
vestem a tineis non attingi quae fuerit in funere, 
serpentes aegre praeterquam laeva manu extrahi. 
e Pythagorae inventis non temere fallere, 2 in- 
positivorum nominum inparem vocalium numerum 
clauditates oculive orbitatem ac similes casus dextris 
adsignare partibus, parem laevis. ferunt difficiles 
partus statim solvi, cum quis tectum in quo sit gravida 
transmiserit lapide vel missili ex his qui tria animalia 
singulis ictibus interfecerint, hominem, aprum, 

34 ursum. probabilius id facit hasta velitaris evulsa 
corpori hominis, si terram non attigerit. eosdem 
enim inlata effectus habet. sic et sagittas corpori 
eductas, si terram non attigerint, subiectas cubantibus 

1 insita Mayhoff : in sua codd. 

2 fallere] Mayhoff fallare coni., ut arbitrere XI § 82. 

a I.e. to disease, poison etc. 

6 The Thesaurus gives impositus and inditus as equivalents 
of impositivus. A nomen impositivum would be any name 

24 



BOOK XXVIII. vi. 31-34 

their saliva, had curative powers. But the natives 
of Tentyris, an island on the Nile, are such a terror 
to the crocodiles that these run away at the mere 
sound of their voice. All these peoples, so strong 
their natural antipathy, a can, as is well known, 
effect a cure by their very arrival, just as wounds 
grow worse on the entry of those who have ever 
been bitten by the tooth of snake or dog. The latter 
also addle the eggs of a sitting hen, and make cattle 
miscarry ; so much venom remains from the injury 
once received that the poisoned are turned into 
poisoners. The remedy is for their hands to be first 
washed in water, which is then used to sprinkle on 
the patients. On the other hand, those who have 
once been stung by a scorpion are never afterwards 
attacked by hornets, wasps or bees. He may be 
less surprised at this who knows that moths do not 
touch a garment that has been worn at a funeral, 
and that snakes are with difficulty pulled out of their Vi 
holes except with the left hand. One of the dis- kl 
coveries of Pythagoras will not readily deceive you : 
that an uneven number of vowels in given b names 
portends lameness, blindness, or similar disability, on 
the right side, an even number of vowels the same dis- 
abilities on the left. It is said that difficult labour ends 
in delivery at once, if over the house where is the 
lying-in woman there be thrown a stone or missile that 
has killed with one stroke each three living creatures 
— a human being, a boar, and a bear. A successful 
result is more likely if a light-cavalry spear is used, 
pulled out from a human body without the ground 
being touched. The result indeed is the same if the 

other than those the individual could not avoid (e.g. the family 
name). 

25 



arious 
nds of 
magic power. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

amatorium esse Orpheus et Archelaus scribunt, 
quin et comitiales morbos sanari cibo e carne ferae 
occisae eodem ferro quo homo interfectus sit. 
quorundam partes medicae sunt, sicuti diximus de 
Pyrrhi regis pollice, et Elide solebat ostendi Pelopis 
scapula, 1 quam eburneam adfirmabant. naevos in 
facie tondere religiosum habent etiam nunc multi. 

35 VII. Omnium vero in primis ieiunam salivam 
contra serpentes praesidio esse docuimus, sed et 
alios efficaces eius usus recognoscat vita. despuimus 
eomitiales morbos, hoc est contagia regerimus. 
simili modo et fascinationes repercutimus dextraeque 

36 clauditatis occursum. veniam quoque a deis spei 
alicuius audacioris petimus in sinum spuendo, et iam 2 
eadem ratione terna despuere precatione 3 in omni 
medicina mos est, atque ita eifectus adiuvare, 
incipientes furunculos ter praesignare ieiuna saliva. 
mirum dicimus, sed experimento facile : si quem 
paeniteat ictus eminus comminusve inlati et statim 

1 scapula quam Oronovius, Detlefsen, qui lacunam indicat : 
os ulnamque eam Mayhoff : pro scapula varia (ostilnam, 
ostiliam, ostiliani) codd. 

2 et iam Detlefsen, Mayhoff, qui etenim vel multis etiam 
coni. : etiam Er : orn. plerique codd. 

3 precatione Urlichs, Mayhoff : deprecatione Detlefsen, 
vulg. : praedicatione codd. : an pro precatione ? 

° Many spurious works of a medical nature were attributed 
to the Orpheus of mythology. 

6 Archelaus was possibly the Greek poet living in Egypt, 
some of whose epigrams are in the Anthology. 

e See Book VII. § 20. 

d Pausanias (V. 13, 4) says that the bone was the cb^oTrXaTr] 
(shoulder blade), and that it had disappeared (r)<f>dvt,oTo) 
by his time. MayhofTs conjecture would mean " elbow." 

e Mayhoff brackets the last sentence, which seems out of 
place. 
26 



BOOK XXVIII. vi. 34-vii. 36 

spear is carried indoors. So too, as Orpheus a and 
Archelaus b write, arrows drawn out of a body and 
not allowed to touch the ground act as a love-charm 
upon those under whom when in bed they have been 
placed. Moreover, add these authorities, epilepsy 
is cured by food taken from the flesh of a wild beast 
killed by the same iron weapon that has killed a 
human being. Some men have healing powers con- 
fined to parts of their body. We have mentioned the 
thumb of King Pyrrhus, c and at Elis there used to be 
shown a shoulder blade d of Pelops, which was stated 
to be of ivory. Many men even today have scruples 
about cutting hair from moles on the face/ 

VII. I have however pointed out that the best Remediai 
of all safeguards against serpents is the saliva of a human 
fasting human being, but our daily experience 5a ^ ia - 
may teach us / yet other values of its use. We 
spit on epileptics in a fit, that is, we throw back 
infection.? In a similar way we ward off witch- 
craft and the bad luck that follows meeting a 
person lame in the right leg. We also ask forgiveness 
of the gods for a too presumptuous hope by spitting 
into our bosom ; the same reason again accounts 
for the custom, in using any remedy, of spitting 
on the ground three times by way of ritual/* thus in- 
creasing its efficacy, and of marking early incipient 
boils three times with fasting saliva. It is surprising, 
but easily tested, that if one is sorry for a blow, 
whether inflicted by hand or by a missile, and at once 

f Or, " should examine." 

' From hoc to regerimus may be a gloss. 

h A curious ablative. Perhaps pro precatione or cum pre- 
catione. Spitting three times is a regular part of preparing or 
giving medicine or treatment. 

27 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

expuat in mediam manum qua percussit, levatur 
ilico in percusso culpa. 1 hoc saepe delumbata 
quadrupede adprobatur statim a tali remedio correcto 

37 animalis ingressu. quidam vero adgravant ictus 
ante conatum simili modo saliva in manum ingesta. 
credamus ergo et lichenas leprasque ieiunae inlitu 
adsiduo arceri, item lippitudines matutina cottidie 
velut inunctione, carcinomata j*malo terrae subacto,f 2 
cervicis dolores saliva ieiuni dextra manu ad dextrum 
poplitem relata, laeva ad sinistrum, si quod animal 

38 aurem intraverit et inspuatur, exire. inter amuleta 
est editae quemque urinae inspuere, similiter in 
calciamentum dextri pedis priusquam induatur, 
item cum quis transeat locum in quo aliquod periculum 
adierit. Marcion Zmyrnaeus, qui de simplicibus 
effectibus scripsit, rumpi scolopendras marinas sputo 
tradit, item rubetas aliasque ranas, Ofilius serpentes, 
si quis in hiatum earum expuat, Salpe torporem 
sedari quocumque membro stupente, si quis in sinum 
expuat aut si superiores palpebrae saliva tangantur. 3 

39 nos si haec et illa 4 credamus rite fieri, extranei 
interventu aut, si dormiens spectetur infans, a 

1 culpa codd. : poena vulg. : Mayhoff plaga coni. 

2 malo terrae subacto] Mayhoff terra ea subacta coni. 
sed putat locum nondum sanatum esse. 

3 superiores palpebrae saliva tangantur ego : superiores 
palpebras saliva tangat. cur Mayhoff : superior palpebra 
multi codd. : tangantur (Vr), tangatur, tangant codd. 

4 Nos si haec et illa Hermolaus Barbarus : eo magis 
Detlefsen : non et Mayhoff : nos aut eos codd. 

a See critical note and Jndex of Plants in vol. VII. There 
is perhaps a lacuna, or subacto may be corrupt. 

28 



BOOK XXVIII. vii. 36-39 

spits into the palm of the hand that gave the wound, 
the resentment of the victim is immediately softened. 
Corroborative evidence is often seen in draught 
animals ; when the animal has been flogged to lame- 
ness, after the remedy of spitting has been tried, 
it at once resumes its pace. Some persons indeed 
add force to their blows in a similar way by spitting 
into the hand before making their effort. Let us 
therefore believe that lichens too and leprous sores 
are kept in check by continual application of fast- 
ing saliva, as is also ophthalmia by using saliva 
every morning as eye ointment, carcinomata by 
kneading earth apple ° with saliva, and pains in the 
neck by applying fasting saliva with the right 
hand to the right knee and with the left hand to the 
left knee ; let us also believe that any insect that 
has entered the ear, if spat upon, comes out. It 
acts as a charm for a man to spit on the urine he has 
voided ; similarly to spit into the right shoe before 
putting it on, also when passing a place where one 
has run into some danger. \Iarcion of Smyrna, b 
who wrote on the virtues of simples, tells us that the 
sea scolopendra bursts if spat upon, as do also 
bramble and other toads. Ofilius c says that ser- 
pents too burst if one spits into their open mouths, 
and Salpe d that sensation in any numbed limb is 
restored by spitting into the bosom, or if the upper 
eyelids are touched with saliva. If we hold these 
beliefs, we should also believe that the right course, 
on the arrival of a stranger, or if a sleeping baby 
is looked at, is for the nurse to spit three times at 

6 An unknown. 

c Perhaps an error for Opilius, whieh is read by the MS d. 

d A woman of Lemnos who wrote on the diseases of women. 

29 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nutrice terna adspui ? * quamquam 2 religione tutatur 
et Fascinus, imperatorum quoque, non solum infan- 
tium custos, qui deus inter sacra Romana a Vestalibus 
colitur et currus triumphantium sub his pendens 
defendit medicus invidiae, iubetque eosdem respi- 
cere 3 similis medicina linguae, ut sit exorata a 
tergo Fortuna gloriae carnifex. 

40 VIII. Morsus hominis inter asperrimos quosque 
numeratur. medentur sordes ex auribus ac, ne 
quis miretur, etiam scorpionum ictibus serpentium- 
que statim inpositae, melius ex percussi auribus. 
produnt ita et reduvias sanari, serpentium vero 
ictum contusi dentis humani farina. 

41 IX. Capillus puero qui primum decisus est poda- 
grae inpetus dicitur levare circumligatus, et in 
totum inpubium inpositus. virorum quoque capillus 
canis morsibus medetur ex aceto et capitum volneri- 
bus ex oleo aut vino ; si credimus, a revulso cruci 
quartanis, conbustus utique capillus carcinomati. 
pueri qui primus ceciderit dens, ut terram non 
attingat, inclusus in armillam et adsidue in bracchio 

42 habitus muliebrium locorum dolores prohibet. pollex 
in pede praeligatus proximo digito tumores inguinum 

1 adspui codd. et edd. : despui C. F. W. Muller. 

2 quamquam E Detlefsen : in os ? quamquam Mayhoff : 
quamquam illos VRdT. 

3 respicere Gronovius : recipere codd. 



a With the reading despui, " on the ground " ; with 
Mayhoffs reading, " in the baby's face," or " mouth." 

6 Fascinus was the spirit or daemon of the phallus, an 
emblem of which was hung round the necks of infants to 
keep away evil influences. An image was also attached to the 
car of a triumphant general, in which, too, was a slave, who 
bade him look back, saying : respice post te, hominem te 
memento. See Juvenal X. 41. 

30 



BOOK XXVIII. vii. 39-ix. 42 

her charge. a And yet the baby is further under the 
divine protection of Fascinus, b guardian not only of 
babies but of generals, a deity whose worship, part 
of the Roman religion, is entrusted to the Vestals ; 
hanging under the chariots of generals at their 
triumphs he defends them as a physician from 
jealousy, and the similar physic of the tongue bids 
them look back, so that at the back Fortune, de- 
stroyer of fame, may be won over. c 

VIII. The bite of a human being is considered Human bites. 
to be a most serious one. It is treated with ear 

wax, and (let no one be surprised) this, if applied 
locally at once, is also good for the stings of scorpions 
and for the bites of serpents, being more efficacious 
if taken from the ears of the sufferer. Hangnails too 
are said to be cured in this way ; the bite of serpents 
by a human tooth ground to powder. 

IX. The hair cut off first from a child's head, i§u*eofhair 

etc. 

tied round the affected part,' J is said to relieve attacks 
of gout, as does the application of the hair of all, 
generally speaking, who have not arrived at puberty. 
The hair of adult men also, applied with vinegar, is 
good for dog bites, with oil or wine for wounds on 
the head. If we believe it, the hair of a man torn 
from the cross is good for quartan ague ; burnt hair 
is certainly good for carcinoma. The first tooth 
of a child to fall out, provided that it does not touch 
the ground, if set in a bracelet and worn constantly 
on a woman's arm, keeps pain away from her private 
parts. If the big toe is tied to the one next to it, 

e Or," kept away from behind." 

d Mayhoff puts a semicolon at circumligatus and a comma only 
at inpositus. 

3 1 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sedat, in manu dextera duo medii lino leviter colligati 
destillationes atque lippitudines arcent. quin et 
eiectus lapillus calculoso alligatus supra pubem 
levare ceteros dicitur ac iocineris etiam dolores et 
celeritatem partus facere. adicit Granius efficaciorem 
ad hoc esse ferro exemptum. partus accelerat hic 
mas ex quo quaeque conceperit, si cinctu suo soluto 
feminam cinxerit, dein solverit adiecta precatione 
se vinxisse, eundem et soluturum, atque abierit. 

43 X. Sanguine ipsius hominis ex quacumque parte 
emisso efficacissime anginam inlini tradunt Orpheus 
et Archelaus, item ora comitiali morbo conlapsorum, 
exurgere enim protinus. quidam, si pollices pedum 
pungantur eaeque guttae si ferantur x in faciem, aut 
si virgo dextro pollice attingat, hac coniectura 

44 censentes virgines carnes edendas. Aeschines 
Atheniensis excrementorum cinere anginis mede- 
batur et tonsillis uvisque et carcinomatis. hoc 
medicamentum vocabat botryon. multa genera 
morborum primo coitu solvuntur primoque femin- 
arum mense aut, si id non contingit, longinqua fiunt 
maximeque comitiales. quin et a serpente, a 
scorpione percussos coitu levari produnt, verum 
feminas venere ea laedi. oculorum vitia fieri 

1 si ferantur Urlichs, Detlefsen : referantur Mayhoff : se 
ferantur V : seferantur R. 



° An unknown. b See List of Diseases. 

32 



BOOK XXVIII. ix. 42-x. 44 

swellings in the groin are relieved ; if the two middle 
fingers of the right hand are lightly tied together with 
a linen thread,catarrhs and ophthalmia are kept away. 
Again, a stone voided by a sufferer from bladder 
trouble, if attached above the pubes, is said to relieve 
other similar patients as well as pains in the liver, and 
also to hasten child-birth. Granius a adds that 
the stone is more effegtive for the last purpose if it 
has been cut out by an iron knife. If the man by 
whom a woman has conceived unties his girdle and 
puts it round her waist, and then unties it with the 
ritual formula : " I bound, and I too will unloose," 
then taking his departure, child-birth is made more 
rapid. 

X. The blood let from any part of the patient 
himself makes, we are told by Orpheus and Archelaus, 
a very efficacious application for quinsy ; b efficacious 
too if applied to the mouth of those who have fainted 
in an epileptic fit, for they rise up immediately. 
Some say the big toes should be pricked and the drops 
of blood applied to the face, or that a virgin should 
touch it c with her right thumb ; hence their con- 
clusion that epileptics should eat virgin meat. 
Aeschines the Athenian d used the ash of excrements 
for quinsy, sore tonsils, sore uvula, and carcinomata. 
This medicament he called botryon. Many kinds of 
illness are cleared up by the first sexual intercourse, 
or by the first menstruation ; if they do not, they 
become chronic, especially epilepsy. Moreover, it 
is held that snake bites and scorpion stings are re- 
lieved by intercourse, but that the act does harm to 
the woman. They say that neither ophthalmia nor 
other eye troubles afflict those who, when they wash 

e Or, " the patient." d An unknown. 

33 

VOL. VIII. C 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

negant nec lippire eos qui, cum pedes lavant, aqua 
inde ter oculos tangant. 

45 XI. Inmatura morte raptorum manu strumas, 
parotidas, guttura tactu sanari adfirmant, quidam 
vero cuiuscumque defuncti, dumtaxat sui sexus, 
laeva manu aversa. et ligno fulgure icto reiectis 
post terga manibus demorderj, aliquid et ad dentem 
qui doleat admoveri remedio esse produnt. sunt 
qui praecipiant dentem suffiri dente hominis sui 
sexus, et eum qui caninus vocetur insepulto exemp- 

46 tum adalligari. terram e calvaria psilotrum esse 
palpebrarum tradunt, herba vero, si qua ibi genita 
sit, commanducata dentes cadere, ulcera non serpere 
osse hominis circumscripta. alii e tribus puteis pari 
mensura aquas miscent et prolibant novo fictili, 
relicum dant in tertianis accessu febrium bibendum. 
iidem in quartanis fragmentum clavi a cruce involu- 
tum lana collo subnectunt, aut spartum e cruce, 
liberatoque condunt caverna quam sol non attingat. 

47 XII. Magorum haec commenta sunt, ut x cotem 
qua ferramenta saepe exacuta sint subiectam ignari 
cervicalibus de 2 veneficio deficientis evocare indicium, 
ut ipse dicat quid sibi datum sit et ubi et quo tempore, 
auctorem tamen non nominare. fulmine utique 

1 sunt, ut] sunt qui V : Mayhoff sicuti coni. 

2 de] e coni. Mayhoff, vel delendum putat. 



° Or, " after a cure has been effected." 
b Possibly " sorcery," " magic potion." Cf. Book XXV. 
§10. 

34 



BOOK XXVIII. x. 44-xii. 47 

their feet, touch the eyes three times with the water 
they have used. 

XI. We are assured that the hand of a person Magicai 
carried off by premature death cures by a touch cures - 
scrofulous sores, diseased parotid glands, and throat 
affections; some however say that the back of any 
dead person's left hand will do this if the patient 

is of the same sex. A piece bitten off from wood 
struck by lightning by a person with hands thrown 
behind his back, if it is applied to an aching tooth, 
is a remedy we are told for the pain. Some pre- 
scribe fumigation of the tooth with a human tooth 
from one of the same sex, and to use as an amulet 
a dog-tooth taken from an unburied corpse. Earth 
taken out of a skull acts, it is said, as a depilatory 
for the eye-lashes, while any plant that has grown 
in the skull makes, when chewed, the teeth fall out, 
and ulcers marked round with a human bone do not 
spread. Some mix in equal quantities water from 
three wells, pour a libation from new earthenware, 
and give the rest to be drunk, at the rise of tempera- 
ture, by sufferers from tertian ague. These also 
wrap up in wool and tie round the neck of quartan 
patients a piece of a nail taken from a cross, or else 
a cord taken from a crucifixion, and after the patient's 
neck has been freed a they hide it in a hole where 
the sunlight cannot reach. 

XII. Here are some lies of the Magi, who say that Marveiious 
a whetstone on which iron tools have been often ^Magif 
sharpened, if placed without his knowledge under 

the pillows of a man sinking from the effects of 
poisoning, 6 actually makes him give evidence about 
what has been given him, where and when, but not 
the name of the criminal. It is certainly a fact 

35 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

percussum circumactum in vulnus hominem loqui 

48 protinus constat. inguinibus medentur aliqui liceum 
telae detractum alligantes novenis septenisve nodis, 
ad singulos nominantes viduam aliquam atque ita 
inguini adalligantes. liceo et clavum aliudve quod 
quis calcaverit alligatum ipsos iubent gerere, ne sit 
dolori vulnus. verrucas abolent a vicensima luna in 
limitibus supini ipsam intuentes ultra caput manibus 
porrectis et quicquid adprehendere eo fricantes. 

49 clavum corporis, cum cadit stella si quis destringat 
vel 1 cito sanari aiunt, cardinibus ostiorum aceto 
adfusis lutum fronti inlitum capitis dolorem sedare, 
item laqueum suspendiosi circumdatum temporibus. 
si quid e pisce haeserit faucibus, cadere demissis in 
aquam frigidam pedibus, si vero ex aliis ossibus, 
inpositis capiti ex eodem vase ossiculis, si panis 
haereat, ex eodem in utramque aurem addito pane. 

50 XIII. Quin et sordes hominis in magnis fecere 
remediis quaestuosorum gymnasia 2 Graecorum, 
quippe ea strigmenta molliunt, calfaciunt, discutiunt, 
conplent, sudore et oleo medicinam facientibus. 
volvis inflammatis contractisque admoventur. sic 
et menses cient, sedis inflammationes et condylomata 
leniunt, item nervorum dolores, luxata, articulorum 

51 nodos. emcaciora ad eadem strigmenta a balneis, et 

1 vel codd. : vellere Detlefsen § 61 coll. 

2 quaestuosorum gymnasia vulg., Detlefsen : quaestus 
gymnici Mayhoff : quaestivo gimnit VR : quaestorum 
gymnasia d. 

• Or, " recovers his power of speech." 

6 Celsus (V. 11) says that sordes ex gymnasio is a discutient. 

36 



BOOK XXVIII. xii. 47-xm. 51 

that the victim of lightning, if turned upon the 
wounded side, at once begins to speak.° Some treat 
affections of the groin by tying with nine or seven 
knots a thread taken from a web, at each knot 
naming some widow, and so attach it to the groin as 
an amulet. To prevent a wound's being painful they 
prescribe wearing as an amulet, tied on the person 
with a thread, the nail or other object that he has 
trodden on. Warts are removed by those who, 
after the twentieth day of the month, lie face 
upwards on a path, gaze at the moon with hands 
stretched over their head, and rub the wart with 
whatever they have grasped. If a corn or callus 
is cut when a star is falling, they say that it is very 
quickly cured, and that applying to the forehead the 
mud obtained by pouring vinegar over a front door's 
hinges relieves headaches, as does also the rope 
used by a suicide if tied round the temples. Should 
a fish bone stick in the throat, they say that it comes 
out if the feet are plunged into cold water ; if how- 
ever it is another kind of bone, bits of bone from the 
same pot should be applied to the head ; if it is a 
piece of bread that sticks, pieces from the same loaf 
must be placed in either ear. 

XIII. Moreover, important remedies have been Human ojf- 
made by the profit-seeking Greeks even with human scounn 9 s - 
offscouring from the gymnasia ; for the scrapings 
from the bodies soften, warm, disperse, 6 and make 
flesh, sweat and oil forming an ointment. This 
is used as a pessary for inflammation and contraction 
of the uterus. So used it is also an emmenagogue ; 
it soothes inflammations of the anus and condylomata, 
likewise pains of the sinews, dislocations, and knotty 
joints. More efficacious for the same purposes 

37 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ideo miscentur suppuratoriis medicamentis. nam 
illa quae sunt ex ceromate permixta caeno articulos 
tantum molliunt, calfaciunt, discutiunt efficacius, 

52 sed ad cetera minus valent. excedit fidem inpudens 
cura qua sordes virilitatis contra scorpionum ictus 
singularis remedii celeberrimi auctores clamant, 
rursus in feminis quas x infantium alvo editas in utero 
ipso contra sterilitatem subdi censent, meconium 
vocant. immo etiam ipsos gymnasiorum rasere 
parietes, et illae quoque sordes excalfactoriam vim 
habere dicuntur, panos discutiunt, ulceribus senum 
puerorumque et desquamatis ambustisve inlinuntur. 

53 XIV. Eo minus omitti convenit ab animo hominis 
pendentes medicinas. abstinere cibo omni aut potu, 
alias vino tantum aut carne, alias balneis, cum quid 
eorum postulet valetudo, in praesentissimis remediis 
habetur. his adnumeratur exercitatio, intentio vocis, 
ungui, fricari cum ratione. vehemens enim fricatio 
spissat, lenis mollit, multa adimit corpus, auget 
modica. in primis vero prodest ambulatio, gestatio 
et ea pluribus modis, equitatio stomacho et coxis 

54 utilissima, phthisi navigatio, longis morbis locorum 
mutatio, item somno sibi mederi aut lectulo aut 
rara vomitione. supini cubitus oculis conducunt, 
at proni tussibus, in latera adversum destillationes. 

1 quas codd. : aquas coni. Warmington. 

3» 



BOOK XXVIII. xiii. 51-xiv. 54 

are scrapings from the bath, and so these are in- 
gredients of ointments for suppurations. But those 
that have wax salve in them, and are mixed with mud, 
are more efficacious only for softening joints, for 
warming and for dispersing, but for all other purposes 
thev are less powerful. Shameless beyond belief is 
the treatment prescribed by verv famous authorities, 
who proclaim that male semen is an excellent antidote 
to scorpion stings, holding on the other hand that a 
pessarv for women made from the faeces of babies 
voided in the uterus itself is a cure for barrenness ; 
they call it meconium. Moreover, they have scraped 
the verv walls of the gymnasia, and these offscourings 
are said to have great warming properties ; they dis- 
perse superficial abscesses, and are applied as oint- 
ment to the sores of old people and children, as well 
as to excoriations and burns. 

XIV. It would be all the less seemly to pass over Remedies 
the remedies that are in the control of a man's will. ^hfwfu. 
To fast from all food and drink, sometimes only from 
wine or meat, sometimes from baths, when health 
demands such abstinence, is held to be one of the 
most sovereign remedies. Among the others are 
phvsical exercise, voice exercises, anointing, and 
massage if carried out with skilled care ; for violent 
massage hardens, gentle softens, too much reduces 
rlesh and a moderate amount makes it. Especially 
beneficial however are walking, carriage rides of various 
kinds, horse riding, which is very good for the stomach 
and hips, a sea voyage for consumption, change of 
locality for chronic diseases, and self-treatment by 
sleep, lying down, and occasional emetics. Lying 
on the back is good for the eyes, on the face for 
coughs, and on either side for catarrhs. Aristotle 

39 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Aristoteles et Fabianus plurimum somniari circa ver et 
autumnum tradunt, magisque supino cubitu, at 
prono nihil, Theophrastus celerius concoqui dextri 

55 lateris incubitu, dimcilius a supinis. sol quoque 
remediorum maximum ab ipso sibi praestari potest, 
sicuti linteorum strigiliumque vehementia. per- 
fundere caput calida ante balnearum vaporationem 
et postea frigida, saluberrimum intellegitur, item 
praesumere et cibis et interponere frigidam eiusdem- 
que potu l somnos antecedere et, si libeat, inter- 
rumpere. notandum nullum animal aliud calidos 

56 potus sequi ideoque non esse naturales. mero ante 
somnos colluere ora propter halitus, frigida matutinis 
inpari numero ad cavendos dentium dolores, item 
posca oculos contra lippitudines, certa experimenta 
sunt, sicut totius corporis valetudinem iuvari 2 
varietate victus inobservata. Hippocrates tradit non 
prandentium celerius senescere exta. verum id 
remediis cecinit, non epulis, quippe multo utilissima 
est temperantia in cibis. L. Lucullus hanc de se 
praefecturam servo dederat, ultimoque probro 
manus in cibis triumphali seni deiciebatur vel in 
Capitolio epulanti, pudenda re servo suo facilius 
parere quam sibi. 

1 potu codd. : potus Detlefsen. 

2 valetudinem iuvari Dal., Sillig, Detlefsen : valetudiui in 
Mayhoff; valetudini aut. valetudine in codd. 


a Aphorisms VI. 13. 
40 



BOOK XXVIII. xiv. 54-56 

and Fabianus tell us that dreaming is most common 
around spring and autumn, and especially when we 
lie on the back ; when we lie on the face there are 
no dreams at all. Theophrastus says that quicker 
digestion results from lying on the right side, more 
dimcult digestion from lying on the back. Sunshine 
too, best of remedies, we can administer to ourselves, 
as we can the vigorous use of towels and scrapers. 
To bathe the head with hot water before the hot steam 
of the bath, and with cold water after it, is understood 
to be very healthful ; so it is to drink cold water before 
a meal and at intervals during it, and to take a draught 
of the same before going to sleep, breaking your 
sleep, if you like, in order to drink. It should be 
observed that no animal except man likes hot drinks, 
which is evidence that they are unnatural. Experi- 
ence plainly shows that it is good before sleeping to 
rinse the mouth with neat wine as a safeguard 
against offensive breath, and with cold water an 
uneven number of times in the morning to keep off 
toothache ; that to bathe the eyes in vinegar and 
water prevents ophthalmia, and that general health is 
promoted by an unstudied variety of regimen. 
Hippocrates a teaches that the habit of not taking 
lunch makes the internal organs age more rapidly ; in 
this aphorism, however, he is thinking of remedies, 
not encouraging gluttony, for by far the greatest aid 
to health is moderation in food. L. Lucullus 
gave charge over himself to a slave to enforce 
control, and he, an old man who had celebrated a 
triumph, suffered the very deep disgrace of having 
his hand kept away from the viands even when 
feasting in the Capitol, with the added shame of 
obeying his own slave more readily than himself. 

4i 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

57 XV. Sternumenta pinna gravedinem emendant, 
et si quis mulae nares, ut tradunt, osculo attingat 
sternutamenta et singultum. ad hoc Varro suadet 
palmam alterna * manu scalpere, plerique anulum e 
sinistra in longissimum dextrae digitum transferre, 
in aquam ferventem manus mergere. Theophrastus 
senes laboriosius sternuere dicit. 

58 XVI. Venerem damnavit Democritus ut in qua 
homo alius exiliret ex homine, et, Hercules, raritas 
eius utilior. athletae tamen torpentes restituuntur 
venere, vox revocatur, cum e candida declinat in 
fuscam. medetur et lumborum dolori, oculorum 
hebetationi, mente captis ac melancholicis. 

59 XVII. Adsidere gravidis, vel cum remedium alicui 
adhibeatur, digitis pectinatim inter se inplexis 
veneficium est, idque conpertum tradunt Alcmena 
Herculem pariente, peius, si circa unum ambove 
genua, item poplites alternis genibus inponi. ideo 
haec in consiliis ducum potestatiumve fieri vetuere 
maiores velut omnem actum inpedientia, vetuere 

60 vero et sacris votisve simili modo interesse, capita 
autem aperiri aspectu magistratuum non venerationis 
causa iussere, sed, ut Varro auctor est, valetudinis, 

1 alterna R, Gelenius, Mayhoff: in altera multi ccdd., 
Detlefsen : alterutra coni. Warmington. 

Or, " discomfort." 
42 



BOOK XXVIII. xv. 57-xvii. 60 

XV. Sneezing caused by a feather relieves a 
cold in the head, and sneezing and hiccough are 
relieved by touching with the lips, it is said, the 
nostrils of a mule. For sneezing Varro advises us to 
scratch the palm of each hand with the other ; most 
people advise us to transfer the ring from the left 
hand to the longest finger of the right, and to dip 
the hands into very hot water. Theophrastus says 
that old people sneeze with greater difficulty a than 
others. 

XVI. Sexual intercourse was disapproved of by sexuai 
Democritus, as being merely the act whereby one tntercour *' 
human being springs from another. Heaven knows, 

the less indulgence in this respect the better. 
Athletes, however, when sluggish regain by it their 
activity, and the voice, when it has lost its clearness 
and become husky, is restored. It cures pain in the 
loins, dulness of vision, unsoundness of mind and 
melancholia. 

XVII. To sit in the presence of pregnant women, Various 
or when medicine is being given to patients, with the tndivdey 
fingers interlaced comb-wise, is to be guilty of sorcery, acts - 

a discovery made, it is said, when Alcmena was 
giving birth to Hercules. The sorcery is worse if the 
hands are clasped round one knee or both, and also 
to cross the knees first in one way and then in the 
other. For this reason our ancestors forbade such 
postures at councils of war or of officials, on the ground 
that they were an obstacle to the transaction of all 
business. They also forbade them, indeed, to those 
attending sacred rites and prayers ; but to uncover 
the head at the sight of magistrates they ordered, 
not as a mark of respect, but (our authority is Varro) 
for the sake of health, for the habit of baring the head 

43 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quoniam firmiora consuetudine ea fierent. oum 
quid oculo inciderit, alterum conprimi prodest, cum 
aqua dextrae auriculae, sinistro pede exultari capite 
in dextrum umerum devexo, invicem e diversa aure. 
si tussim concitet saliva, in fronte ab alio adflari, si 
iaceat uva, verticem x morsu alterius suspendi, in 
cervicium dolore poplites fricare 2 aut cervicem in 

61 poplitum, pedes in humo deponi, si nervi in his 
cruribusve tendantur in lectulo, aut si in laeva parte 
id accidat, sinistrae plantae pollicem dextra manu 
adprehendi, item e diverso, extremitates corporis 
velleribus perstringi contra horrores sanguinemve 
narium inmodicum, 3 . . . lino vel papyro principia 
genitalium, femur medium ad cohibenda urinae 
profluvia, in stomachi solutione pedes pressare 4 aut 

62 manus in ferventem aquam demitti. iam et sermoni 
parci multis de causis salutare est. triennio Maece- 
natem Melissum 5 accepimus silentium sibi impera- 
visse a convolsione reddito sanguine. nam eversos 
scandentesque ac iacentes si quid ingruat contraque 
ictus spiritum cohibere singularis praesidii est, quod 

63 inventum esse animalis docuimus. clavum ferreum 
defigere in quo loco primum caput fixerit corruens 

1 verticem VdT, Mayhoff : a vertice R ( ?) E vulg., 
Detlefsen. 

2 fricari velit Sillig. 

3 Post inmodicum lacunam indicat Mayhoff. 

4 pressari velit Sillig. 

6 Melissi iussi coni. Maykoff. 



a With the reading a vertice, " to hold him up suspended 
by the top of his head with another*s teeth," a difficult feat, 
one would think. 

b Mayhoff'8 lacuna, fillcd up by item circumligari, would 
mean : " to tie round with thread or papyrus." 

44 



BOOK XXVIII. xvii. 60-63 

gives it greater strength. When something has 
fallen into the eye, it does good to press down the 
other ; when water gets into the right ear, to jump 
with the left leg. leaning the head towards the right 
shoulder; if into the left ear, to jump in the con- 
trary way ; if saliva provokes a cough, for another 
person to blow on the forehead ; if the uvula is 
relaxed, for another to hold up the top of the head a 
with his teeth ; if there is pain in the neck, to rub 
the back of the knees, and to rub the neck for pain 
in the back of the knees ; to plant the feet on the 
ground for cramp in feet or legs when in bed ; or if the 
cramp is on the left side to seize with the right hand 
the big toe of the left foot and vice versa ; to rub the 
extremities with pieces of fleece to stcp shivers or vio- 
lent nose-bleeding; . . . b with linen or papyrus the 
tip of the genitals and the middle of the thigh to 
check incontinence of urine ; for weakness of the 
stomach to press together the feet or dip the hands 
into very hot water. Moreover, to refrain from 
talking is healthful for many reasons. Maecenas 
Melissus, c we are told, imposed a three-year silence 
on himself because of spitting of blood after con- 
vulsions. But if any danger threatens those thrown 
down, climbing, or prostrate, and as a guard against 
blows, to hold the breath is an excellent protection, 
a discovery which, I have stated, d we owe to an 
animal. To drive an iron nail into the place first e 

c The conjecture of Mayhoff would mean : " Maecenas, 
on the recommendation of Melissus," i.e., of his medical 
attendant. 

d See Book VIII. § 138. 

* Or, possibly : " into the place struck by the front of his 
head." 

45 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

morbo comitiali absolutorium eius mali dicitur. 
contra renum aut lumborum, vesicae cruciatus in 
balnearum soliis pronos urinam reddere mitigatorium 
habetur. vulnera nodo Herculis praeligare mirum 

64 quantum ocior medicina est, atque etiam cottidiani 
cinctus tali nodo vim quandam habere utilem dicuntur, 
quippe cum Herculaneum prodiderit numerum 
quoque quaternarium Demetrius condito volumine, et 
quare quaterni cyathi sextariive non essent potandi. 
contra lippitudines retro aures fricare prodest et 
lacrimosis oculis frontem. augurium ex homine ipso 
est non timendi mortem in aegritudine quamdiu 
oculorum pupillae imaginem reddant. 

65 XVIII. Magna et urinae non ratio solum sed 
etiam religio apud auctores invenitur digestae in 
genera, spadonum quoque ad fecunditatis veneficia. 
verum ex his quae referre fas sit inpubium puerorum 
contra salivas aspidum quas ptyadas vocant, quoniam 
venena in oculos hominum expuant, contra oculorum 
albugines, obscuritates, cicatrices, argema, palpebras 
et cum ervi farina contra adustiones, contra aurium 
pura vermiculosque, si decoquatur ad dimidias partes 
cum porro capitato novo fictili. vaporatio quoque ea 



° A difficult knot with no ends to be seen. 

6 Possibly a physician who lived about 200 B.c. Nothing 
else is known of him. 

c It is difficult to bring out the contrast between ratio 
and religio without suggesting notions of which PHny, and 
perhaps the Romans generally, were ignorant. Possibly 
the former refers to a property supposed to be understood 



46 



BOOK XXVIII. xvii. 63-xvm. 65 

struck by the head of an epileptic in his fall is said 
to be deliverance from that malady. For severe 
pain in the kidneys, loins or bladder, it is supposed 
to be soothing if the patient voids his urine while 
lying on his face in the tub of the bath. To tie up 
wounds with the Hercules knot a makes the healing 
wonderfully more rapid, and even to tie daily the 
girdle with this knot is said to have a certain useful- 
ness, for Demetrius b wrote a treatise in which he 
states that the number four is one of the prerogatives 
of Hercules, giving reasons why four cyathi or sextarii 
at a time should not be drunk. For ophthalmia it is 
good to rub behind the ears, and for watery eyes the 
forehead. From the patient himself it is a reliable 
omen that, as long as the pupils of his eyes reflect 
an image, a fatal end to an illness is not to be feared. Medicai 
XVIII. Our authorities attribute to urine also great UJesoJur 
power, not only natural but supernatural ; c they 
divide it into kinds, using even that of eunuchs to 
counteract the sorcery that prevents fertility. But 
of the properties it would be proper to speak of I 
may mention the following : — the urine of children 
not yet arrived at puberty is used to counteract the 
spittle of the ptyas, an asp so called because it spits 
venom into men's eyes ; for albugo, J dimness, scars, 
argema, d and affections of the eyelids ; with flour 
of vetch for burns ; and for pus or worms in the ear 
if boiled down to one half with a headed leek in 
new earthenware. Its steam too is an emmena- 

(i.e. normal), and the latter to one mysterious and not under- 
stood (abnormal). Of course there are other meanings of 
religio, which may be objective or subjective. 

d For albugo and argema see List of Diseases. The ptyas 
(from tttvco) = the spitting asp. 

47 



PLINV: XATURAL HISTORY 

66 menses feminarum ciet. Salpe fovet illa x oculos 
firmitatis causa, inlinit sole usta cum ovi albo, 
emcacius slruthocameli, binis horis. hac et atra- 
menti liturae abluuntur. virilis podagris medetur 
argumento fullonum, quos ideo temptari eo morbo 
negant. veteri miscetur cinis ostreorum adversus 
eruptiones in corpore infantium et omnia ulcera 

67 manantia. ea exesis, ambustis, sedis vitiis, rhaga- 
diis et scorpionum ictibus inlinitur. obstetricum 
nobilitas non alio suco efficacius curari pronuntiavit 
corporum pruritus, nitro addito ulcera capitum, 
porrigines, nomas, praecipue genitalium. sua cuique 
autem, quod fas sit dixisse, maxime prodest, confestim 
perfuso canis morsu, echinorumque spinis inhaeren- 
tihus 2 in spongea lanisve inposita aut adversus rabidi 
canis morsus cinere ex ea subacto, contraque serpen- 
tium ictus. nam contra scolopendras mirum pro- 
ditur vertice tacto urinae suae gutta liberari protinus 
laesos. 

68 XIX. Auguria valetudinis ex ea traduntur, si 
mane candida, dein rufa sit, illo modo concoquere, 
hoc concoxisse significatur. mala signa rubrae, 
pessima nigrae, mala bullantis. crassa, 3 in qua quod 
subsidit si album est, significat circa articulos aut 
viscera dolorem inminere, eadem viridis morbum 

1 Post illa add. cum E : cum luteo C. Brahnan (Mnemosyne 
1930). 

2 inhaerentibus] Post hoc verbum et codd. : del. vult Mayhoff: 
ego delevi. 

3 crassa Mayhoff : crassae aut et crassae codd. 

" .Mayhoff thinks that there is a lacuna, e.g. " and honey." 
1 Fullers used it in their work. 

' With the reading crassae '* thick " will be an epithet 
applied to the bubbling urine. 

48 



BOOK XXVIII. xviii. 6^-xix. 68 



gogue. Salpe would foment the eyes with urine ° to 
strengthen them, and would apply it for two hours 
at a time to sun-burn, adding the white of an egg, 
by preference that of an ostrich. Urine also takes 
out ink blots. Men's urine relieves gout, as is 
shown by the testimony of fullers, 5 who for that 
reason never, they say, suffer from this malady. Old 
urine is added to the ash of burnt oyster-shells to 
treat rashes on the bodies of babies, and for all 
running ulcers. Pitted sores, burns, affections of the 
anus, chaps, and scorpion stings, are treated by 
applications of urine. The most celebrated mid- 
wives have declared that no other lotion is better 
treatment for irritation of the skin, and with soda 
added for sores on the head, dandruff, and spreading 
ulcers, especially on the genitals. Each person's 
own urine, if it be proper for me to say so, does him 
the most good, if a dog-bite is immediately bathed in 
it, if it is applied on a sponge or wool to the quills 
of an urchin that are sticking in the flesh, or if ash 
kneaded with it is used to treat the bite of a mad dog, 
or a serpent's bite. Moreover, for scolopendra 
bite a wonderful remedy is said to be for the wounded 
person to touch the top of his head with a drop of 
his own urine, when his wound is at once healed. 

XIX. Urine gives us symptoms of general health : 
if in the morning it is clear, becoming tawny later, 
the former means that coction is still going on, the 
latter that it is complete. A bad symptom is red 
urine, a bad one also when it bubbles, and the 
worst of all when it is very dark. Thick c urine, in 
which what sinks to the bottom is white, means that 
there is pain coming on about the joints or in the 
region of the bowels ; if it is green, that the bowels 

49 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

viscerum, pallida bilis, rubens sanguinis. mala et 
in qua veluti furfures atque nubeculae apparent. 

69 diluta quoque alba vitiosa est, mortifera vero crassa 
gravi odore et in pueris tenuis ac diluta. Magi 
vetant eius causa contra solem lunamque nudari 
aut umbram cuiusquam ab ipso respergi. Hesiodus 
iuxta obstantia reddi suadet, ne deum aliquem nudatio 
offendat. Osthanes contra mala medicamenta omnia 
auxiliari promisit matutinis suam cuique instillatam 
in pedem. 

70 XX. Quae ex mulierum corporibus traduntur ad 
portentorum miracula accedunt, ut sileamus divisos 
membratim in scelera abortus, mensum piacula 
quaeque alia non obstetrices modo verum etiam 
ipsae meretrices prodidere, capilli si crementur, 
odore serpentes fugari, eodem nidore vulvae morbo 

71 strangulatas respirare, cinere eo quidem, si in testa 
sint cremati vel cum spuma argenti, scabritias 
oculorum ac prurigines emendari, item verrucas et 
infantium ulcera, cum melle capitis quoque vulnera 
et omnium ulcerum sinus, addito melle ac ture 
panos, podagras, cum adipe suillo sacrum ignem, 
sanguinem sisti, inlito item x formicationes corporum. 

72 XXI. De lactis usu convenit dulcissimum esse 
mollissimumque et in longa febre coeliacisque 
utilissimum, maxime eius quae iam infantem re- 

1 item Mayhoff : et in codd. : et vulg. 

a Works and Days 11. 727 foll. 

h A Magus who accompanied Xerxes on his expedition 
against Greece. See Book XXX. § 8, and the long article in 
Pauly, s.v. Ostanes. 

c See XXVIII § 85 tactis omnino menstruo postibus inritas 
fieri Magorum artes. It is however possible that the other 
meaning of piaculum (" crime ") is intended here. Cf. 
many remarks in Chapter XXIII. 

5° 



BOOK XXVIII. xix. 68-xxi. 72 

are diseased. Pale urine means diseased bile, red 
urine diseased blood. Bad urine also is that in which 
is to be seen as it were bran, and cloudiness. Watery, 
pale, urine also is unhealthy, but thick, foul-smell- 
ing urine indicates death, as does thin, watery urine 
from children. The Magi say that when making 
urine one must not expose one's person to the face of 
the sun or moon, or let drops fall on anyone's shadow. 
Hesiod a advises us to urinate facing an object that 
screens, lest our nakedness should offend some deity. 
Osthanes b assured people that protection against 
all sorcerers' potions is secured by letting one's own 
morning urine drip upon the foot. 

XX. Some reported products of women's bodies Remedies 
should be added to the class of marvels, to say nothing 
of tearing to pieces for sinful practices the limbs of 
still-born babies, the undoing of spells by the men- 
strual fluid, c and the other accounts given not only by 
midwives but actually by harlots. For example: that 
the smell of burnt woman's hair keeps away serpents, 
and the fumes of it make women breathe naturally 
who are choking with hysteria ; this same ash indeed, 
from hair burnt in a jar, or used with Htharge, 
cures roughness and itch of the eyes, as well as 
warts and sores on babies ; that with honey it cures 
also wounds on the head and the cavities made by 
any kind of ulcer, with honey and frankincense, 
superficial abscesses and gout ; that with lard it cures 
erysipelas and checks haemorrhage, and that when 
applied it cures also irritating rashes on the body. 

XXI. As to the use of woman's milk, it is agreed 
that it is the sweetest and most delicate of all, very 
useful in long fevers and coeliac disease, especially 
the milk of a woman who has already weaned her 

5i 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

moverit. et in malacia stomachi, in febribus rosioni- 
busque efficacissimum experiuntur, item mammarum 
collectionibus cum ture, oculo ab ictu cruore suffuso 
et in dolore aut epiphora, si inmulgeatur, plurimum 
prodest, magisque cum melle et narcissi suco aut 
turis polline, superque in omni usu efficacius eius 
quae marem enixa sit multoque efficacissimum eius 
quae geminos pepererit mares et si vino ipsa cibisque 

73 acrioribus abstineat. mixto praeterea ovorum can- 
dido liquore madidaque lana frontibus inpositum x 
fluctiones oculorum suspendit. nam 2 si rana saliva 
sua oculum asperserit, praecipuum est remedium, 
et contra morsum eiusdem bibitur instillaturque. 
eum qui simul matris filiaeque lacte inunctus sit 
liberari omni oculorum metu in totam vitam adfirmant. 
aurium quoque vitiis medetur admixto modice oleo 
aut, si ab ictu doleant, 3 anserino adipe tepefactum. 
si sit odor gravior, ut plerumque fit longis vitiis, 

74 diluto melle lana includitur. et contra regium 
morbum in oculis relictum instillatur cum elaterio. 
peculiariter valet potum contra venena quae data 
sint e marino lepore, bupraesti, 4 aut 5 ut Aristoteles 
tradit, dorycnio, 6 et contra insaniam quae facta sit 
hyoscyami potu. podagris quoque iubent inlini 
cum cicuta, alii cum oesypo et adipe anserino, 

1 inpositum codd. : inposita coni. Mayhoff. 

2 nam codd. : etiam coni. Mayhoff. 

3 Ante anserino an cum addendum ? 

4 bupraesti] varia codd. : bupraestim Deilefsen. 

5 aut] mutatim multi codd. : del. Detlefsen : aut etiam 
Mayhoff. 

6 dorycnio Mayhoff : dorycnium Detlefsen : varia codd. 

a See Index of Plants in vol. VII. 

b Perhaps some species of cantharides. 

52 



BOOK XXVIII. xxi. 72-74 

baby. For nausea of the stomach, in fevers, and for 
gnawing pains, it is found most efficacious, also with 
frankincense for gatherings on the breasts. It is 
very beneficial to an eye that is bloodshot from a 
blow, in pain, or suffering from a flux, if it is milked 
straight into it, more beneficial still if honey is added 
and juice of narcissus a or powdered incense. For 
all purposes, moreover, a woman's milk is more 
efficacious if she has given birth to a boy, and much 
the most efficacious is hers, who has borne twin 
boys and herself abstains from wine and the more 
acrid foods. Mixed moreover with liquid white of 
eggs, and applied to the forehead on wool soaked in it, 
it checks fluxes of the eyes. But if a toad has 
squirted its fluid into the eye it is a splendid remedy ; 
for the bite also of the toad it is drunk and poured 
in drops into the wound. It is asserted that one who 
has been rubbed with the milk of mother and daughter 
together never needs to fear eye trouble for the rest 
of his life. Affections of the ears also are successfully 
treated by the milk mixed with a little oil, or, if 
there is any pain from a blow, warmed with goose 
grease. If there is an offensive smeil from the ears, 
as usually happens in illnesses of long standing, wool 
is put into them soaked in milk in which honey has 
been dissolved. When jaundice has left traces 
remaining in the eyes, the milk together with 
elaterium is dropped into them. A draught of 
woman's milk is especially efficacious against the 
poison of the sea-hare, of the buprestis, 6 or, as 
Aristotle tells us, of dorycnium, and for the madness 
caused by drinking henbane. Combined with hem- 
lock it is also prescribed as a liniment for gout ; 
others make it up with the suint of wool and goose 

53 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

qualiter et vulvarum doloribus inponitur. alvum 
etiam sistit potum, ut Rabirius scribit, et menses 

75 ciet. eius vero quae feminam enixa sit ad vitia 
tantum in facie sananda praevalet. pulmonum 
quoque incommoda lacte mulieris sanantur, cui si 
admisceatur inpubis pueri urina et mel Atticum, 
omnia coclearium singulorum mensura, "j" marmora f x 
quoque aurium eici invenio. eius quae marem pe- 
perit lacte gustato canes rabiosos negant fieri. 

76 XXII. Mulieris quoque salivam ieiunam potentem 
diiudicant cruentatis oculis et contra epiphoras, si 
ferventes anguli oculorum subinde madefiant, effi- 
cacius, si cibo vinoque se pridie ea abstinuerit. 
invenio et fascia mulieris alligato capite dolores 
minui. 

77 XXIII. Post haec nullus est modus. iam primum 
abigi grandines turbinesque contra fulgura ipsa mense 
nudato. sic averti violentiam caeli, in navigando 
quidem tempestates etiam sine menstruis. ex ipsis 
vero mensibus, monstrificis alias, ut suo loco indica- 
vimus, dira et infanda vaticinantur, e quibus dixisse 
non pudeat, si in defectus lunae solisve congruat 
vis 2 illa, inremediabilem fieri, non segnius et in silente 
luna, coitusque tum maribus exitiales esse atque 

1 marmora codd., vulg. : pura Detlefsen coll. § 65 : vermes 
Mayhoff, qui etiam harenas renium, pro marmora aurium : pro 
marmora coni. murmura Warmington. 

- vis vulg., Mayhoff : pestis Detlefsen : is VR : om. dx. 



° None of the emendations of the corrupt marmora seems 
likely. Perhaps Mayhoffs suggestion of harenas renium 
(" gravel expelled from the bladder ") is the best. I translate 
Mayhoff '8 vermes. 

6 See Book VII. § 64. 

54 



BOOK XXVIII. xxi. 74-xxiii. 77 

grease, in the form that is also used as an application 
for pains of the uterus. A draught also acts as- 
tringently upon the bowels, as Rabirius writes, and is 
an emmenagogue. The milk of a woman however 
who has borne a girl is excellent, but only for curing 
spots on the face. Lung affections also are cured 
by woman's milk, and if Attic honey is mixed with 
it and the urine of a child before puberty, a single 
spoonful of each, I find that worms a too are driven 
from the ears. The mother of a boy gives a milk a 
taste of which, they say, prevents dogs from going 
mad. 

XXII. The saliva too of a fasting woman is judged 
to be powerful medicine for bloodshot eyes and fluxes, 
if the inflamed comers are occasionally moistened 
with it, the efficacy being greater if she has fasted 
from food and wine the day before. I find that a 
woman's breast-band tied round the head relieves 
headache. 

XXIII. Over and above all this there is no limit 
to woman's power. First of all, they say that hail- 
storms and whirlwinds are driven away if menstrual 
fluid is exposed to the very flashes of lightning; 
that stormy weather too is thus kept away, and 
that at sea exposure, even without menstruation, 
prevents storms. Wild indeed are the stories 
told of the mysterious and awful power of the 
menstruous discharge itself, the manifold magic of 
which I have spoken of in the proper place. & Of these 
tales I may without shame mention the following : if 
this female power should issue when the moon or sun 
is in eclipse, it will cause irremediable harm ; no less 
harm if there is no moon; at such seasons sexual 
intercourse brings disease and death upon the 

55 



PLINY: NATUllAL HISTORY 

78 pestiferos, purpuram quoque eo tempore ab his 
pollui, tanto vim esse maiorem, quocumque autem 
alio menstruo si nudatae segetem ambiant, urucas 
et vermiculos scarabaeosque ac noxia alia decidere. 
Metrodorus Scepsius in Cappadocia inventum prodit 
ob multitudinem cantharidum ; ire ergo per media 
arva retectis super clunes vestibus. alibi servatur 
ut nudis pedibus eant capillo cinctuque dissoluto. 
cavendum ne id oriente sole faciant, sementim enim 
arescere, item novella x tactu in perpetuum laedi, 
rutam et hederam res medicatissimas ilico mori. 

79 multa diximus de hac violentia, sed praeter illa certum 
est apes tactis alvariis fugere, lina, cum coquantur, 
nigrescere, aciem in cultris tonsorum hebetari, aes 
contactu grave virus odoris accipere et aeruginem, 
magis si descrescente luna id accidat, equas, si sint 
gravidae, tactas abortum pati, quin et aspectu omnino, 
quamvis procul visas, si purgatio illa post virginitatem 

80 prima sit aut in virgine aetatis sponte. nam et 2 
bitumen in Iudaea nascens sola hac vi superari 
filo vestis contactae docuimus. nec igni quidem 

1 novella multi codd., Mayhoff: novella prata Detlefsen : 
novella ta V 1 . 

2 nam et Detlefsen : manet (cum priore sententia) Mayhoff : 
nam ut V : nam V 2 r : ut d T. Coni. etiam eveniat Mayhoff. 

° It should be noticed how often the word vis occurs in this 
chapter. It is curiously like the " mana " or "orenda" of 
modern students of folklore. See the article Kultus in Pauly. 

6 It is hard to see how the readings of the MSS. have arisen, 
whatever reading or emendation we adopt. MayhofTs 
manet would be more attractive were not prima sit the natural 
continuation of the clause introduced by aut. Is it possible 

56 



BOOK XXVIII. xxiii. 78-80 

man; purple too is tarnished then by the womans 
touch. So much greater then is the power ° of a 
menstruous woman. But at any other time of 
menstruation, if women go round the cornfield naked, 
caterpillars, worms, beetles and other vermin fall to 
the ground. Metrodorus of Scepsos states that the 
discovery was made in Cappadocia owing to the 
plague there of Spanish fly, so that women walk, he 
says, through the middle of the fields with their 
clothes pulled up above the buttocks. In other places 
the custom is kept up for them to walk barefoot, with 
hair dishevelled and with girdle loose. Care must 
be taken that they do not do so at sunrise, for the 
crop dries up, they say, the young vines are ir- 
remedially harmed by the touch, and rue and ivy, 
plants of the highest medicinal power, die at once. 
I have said much about this virulent discharge, but 
besides it is certain that when their hives are touched 
by women in this state bees fly away, at their touch 
linen they are boiling turns black, the edge of razors 
is blunted, brass contracts copper rust and a foul 
smell, especially if the moon is waning at the time, 
mares in foal if touched miscarry, nay the mere sight 
at however great a distance is enough, if the men- 
struation is the first after maidenhood, or that of a 
virgin who on account of age is menstruating naturally 
for the first time. But the bitumen b also that is 
found in Judaea can be mastered only by the power of Men*truai 
this fluid, as I have already stated, c a thread from an fimd - 
infected dress is sufficient. Not even fire, the all-con- 

that the last two syllables of bitumen, spelt backwards (nem 
ut), are responsible ? 

e See Book VII. § 65, a portion of Pliny's work from which 
many of the statements made here are repeated. 

57 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vincitur quo cuncta, cinisque etiam ille, si quis aspargat 
lavandis vestibus, purpuras mutat, florem coloribus 
adimit. ne ipsis quidem feminis malo suo inter se 
inmunibus abortus facit inlitu, aut si omnino praegnas 

81 supergradiatur. quae Lais et Elephantis inter se 
contraria prodidere de abortivis, 1 carbone e radice 
brassicae vel myrti vel tamaricis in eo sanguine 
extincto, itemque asinas tot annis non concipere 
quot grana hordei contacta ederint, quaeque alia 
nuncupavere monstrifica aut inter ipsas pugnantia, 
cum haec fecunditatem fieri isdem modis quibus 
sterilitatem illa praenuntiaret, melius est non credere. 

82 Bithus Durrachinus hebetata aspectu specula recipere 
nitorem tradit isdem aversa rursus contuentibus, 
omnemque vim talem resolvi, si mullum piscem 
secum habeant, multi vero inesse etiam remedia 
tanto malo, podagris inlini, stimmas et parotidas et 
panos, sacros ignes, furunculos, epiphoras tractatu 
mulierum earum leniri, Lais et Salpe canum rabio- 
sorum morsus et tertianas quartanasque febres 
menstruo in lana arietis nigri argenteo bracchiali 
incluso, Diotimus Thebanus vel omnino vestis ita 
infectae portiuncula ac vel licio 2 bracchiali inserto. 3 

1 abortivis codd., Detlefsen : abortivo post vet. Dal., Mayhoff. 

2 licio Caesarius, Mayhoff : pellicio d Tr, vulg., Detlefsen : 
pelicio V R. 

3 inserto T Mayhoff : inserte, inserta, insertae codd. : 
insertae vulg., Detlefsen. 



° An unknown. 

* Authoress of poeras admired by Tiberiue. Perhaps the 
lady that Galen says wrote on the subject of cosmetics. 
c An unknown. 
d See note on § 38. 
e An unknown. 



58 



BOOK XXVIII. xxm. 80-82 

quering, overcomes it ; even when reduced to ash, 
if sprinkled on clothes in the wash, it changes purples 
and robs colours of their brightness. Nor are women 
themselves immune to the effect of this plague of their 
sex ; a miscarriage is caused by a smear, or even if 
a woman with child steps over it. Lais a and 
Elephantis 6 do not agree in their statements about 
abortives, the burning root of cabbage, myrtle, 
or tamarisk extinguished by the menstrual blood, 
about asses' not conceiving for as many years as 
they have eaten grains of barley contaminated 
with it, or in their other portentous or contradictory 
pronouncements, one saying that fertility, the other 
that barrenness is caused by the same measures. 
It is better not to believe them. Bithus c of Dyr- 
rhachium says that a mirror which has been tarnished 
by the glance of a menstruous woman recovers its 
brightness if it is turned round for her to look at the 
back, and that all this sinister power is counteracted 
if she carries on her person the fish called red mullet. 
Many however say that even this great plague is 
remedial; that it makes a liniment for gout, and 
that by her touch a woman in this state relieves 
scrofula, parotid tumours, superficial abscesses, 
erysipelas, boils and eye-fluxes. Lais and Salpe d 
hold that the bite of a mad dog, tertians, and quartans 
are cured by the flux on wool from a black ram 
enclosed in a silver bracelet ; Diotimus e of Thebes 
says that even a bit, nay a mere thread,/ of a garment 
contaminated in this way and enclosed in the bracelet, 

1 With the reading pellicio : " even a bit of a contaminated 
garment inserted in a leather strap round the arm." There 
is something attractive about this reading, for which almost 
as much could be said as for licio. 

59 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Sotira obstetrix tertianis quartanisque efficacissimum 
dixit plantas aegri subterlini, multoque efficacius ab 
ipsa muliere et ignorantis, sic et comitiales excitari. 
Icatidas medicus quartanas finiri coitu, incipientibus 

84 dumtaxat menstruis, spopondit. inter omnes vero 
convenit, si aqua potusque formidetur a morsu canis, 
supposita tantum calici lacinia tali, statim metum 
eum discuti, videlicet praevalente sympathia illa 
Graecorum, cum rabiem canum eius sanguinis 
gustatu incipere dixerimus. cinere eo iumentorum 
omnium x ulcera sanari certum est addita caminorum 
farina et cera, maculas autem e veste eas non nisi 

85 eiusdem urina ablui, cinerem per se rosaceo mixtum 
feminarum praecipue capitis dolores sedare inlitum 
fronti, asperrimamque vim profluvii eius esse per se 
annis virginitate resoluta. id quoque convenit, quo 
nihil equidem libentius crediderim, tactis omnino 
menstruo postibus inritas fieri Magorum artes, 

86 generis vanissimi, ut aestimare licet. ponam enim 
vel modestissimum e promissis eorum, ex homine 
siquidem resigmina unguium e pedibus manibusque 
cera permixta, ita ut dicatur tertianae, quartanae 
vel cotidianae febri remedium quaeri, ante solis 
ortum alienae ianuae adfigi iubent ad remedia in 
his morbis, quanta vanitate, si falsum est, quanta 
vero noxia, si transferunt morbos ! innocentiores ex 

1 omnium codd. : omnia Mayhoff, fortasse recte. 

a An unknown. 

6 For sympathia see XXIV. § 1. 

e For transference see XXX. § 64 and E. Stemplinger 
Antique und moderne Volkmedizin, p. 66. 
6o 



BOOK XXVIII. xxm. S2-S6 



is sufficient. The midwife Sotira has said that it is a 
very efficacious remedy for tertians and quartans to 
smear with the flux the soles of the patient's feet, 
much more so if the operation is performed by the 
woman herself without the patient's knowledge, 
adding that this remedy also revives an epileptic 
who has fainted. Icatidas ° the physician assures 
us that quartans are ended by sexual intercourse, 
provided that the woman is beginning to menstruate. 
All are agreed that, if water or drink is dreaded after 
a dog-bite, if only a contaminated cloth be placed 
beneath the cup, that fear disappears at once, since 
of course that sympathy, as Greeks call it, has an all- 
powerful effect, for I have said that dogs begin to go 
mad on tasting that blood. It is a fact that, added 
to soot and wax, the ash of the flux when burnt heals 
the sores of all draught-animals, but menstrual 
stains on a dress can be taken out only by the urine 
of the same woman, that the ash, mixed with nothing 
but rose oil, if applied to the forehead, relieves head- 
ache, especially that of women, and that the power 
of the flux is most virulent when virginity has been 
lost solely through lapse of time. This also is agreed, 
and there is nothing I would more willingly believe, 
that if door-posts are merely touched by the men- 
strual discharge, the tricks are rendered vain of the 
Magi, a lying crowd, as is easily ascertained. I will 
give the most moderate of their promises : take the 
parings of a patient's finger nails and toe nails, mix 
with wax, say that a cure is sought for tertian, 
quartan or quotidian fever, and fasten them before 
sunrise on another man's door as a cure for these 
diseases. What a fraud if they lie ! What wicked- 
ness if they pass the disease on ! c Less guilty are 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

his omnium digitorum resigmina unguium ad 
cavernas formicarum abici iubent eamque quae prima 
coeperit trahere correptam subnecti collo, ita discuti 
morbum. 

87 XXIV. Haec sunt quae retulisse fas sit ac pleraque 
ex his non nisi honore dicto, reliqua intestabilia, 
infanda, ut festinet oratio ab homine fugere. in 
ceteris claritates animalium aut operum sequemur. 
elephanti sanguis, praecipue maris, fluctiones omnes 

88 quas rheumatismos vocant sistit. ramentis eboris 
cum melle Attico, ut aiunt, nubeculae in facie, scobe 
paronychia tolluntur. proboscidis tactu capitis dolor 
levatur, eflicacius si et sternuat. dextra x pars 
proboscidis cum Lemnia rubrica adalligata inpetus 
libidinum stimulat. sanguis et syntecticis prodest, 
iocurque comitialibus morbis. 

89 XXV. Leonis adipes cum rosaceo cutem in facie 
custodiunt a vitiis candoremque. sanant et adusta 
nivibus articulorumque tumores. Magorum vanitas 
perunctis adipe eo faciliorem gratiam apud populos 
regesve promittit, praecipue tamen eo pingui quod 

90 sit inter supercilia, ubi esse nullum potest. similia 
dentis, maxime a dextera parte, villique e rostro 
inferiore promissa sunt. fel aqua addita claritatem 
oculis inunctis facit et cum adipe eiusdem comitiales 
morbos discutit levi gustu et ut protinus qui sumpsere 

1 Warmington coni. sternuat a dextra (aut ad dextram). 
pars etc. 

a See the List of Diseases. 

b Does this mean a small piece taken from a dead animal ? 
At any rate the sentence is queer, and one suspects corruption, 
or else a lacuna after proboscidis. Warmington's suggestion 
is a good one : " sneezes to the right. A bit of the trunk 
etc." The triangular tip of the trunk is still regarded by 

62 



BOOK XXVIII. xxv. 86-xxv. 90 

those of thera who tell us to cut all the nails, throw 
the parings near ant holes, catch the first ant that 
begins to drag a paring away, tie it round the neck, 
and in this way the disease is cured. 

XXIV. This is all the information it would be right 
for me to repeat, most of which also needs an apology 
from me. As the rest of it is detestable and un- 
speakable, let me hasten to leave the subject of 
remedies from man. Taking the other animals I 
shall try to find what is striking either in them or in 
their effects. 

The blood of an elephant, particularly that of the Remedies 
male, checks all the fluxes that are called rheumatismi. a *ei°eph<mt. 
Ivory shavings with Attic honey are said to remove 
dark spots on the face, and ivory dust whitlows. 
By the touch of the trunk headache is relieved, 
more successfully if the animal also sneezes. The 
right side of the trunk b used as an amulet with 
the red earth of Lemnos is aphrodisiac. The blood Remedies 
too is good for consumption, and the liver for epilepsy. /™™ 

XXV. Lion fat with rose oil preserves fairness of 
complexion and keeps the face free from spots ; 
it also cures frost-bite and swollen joints. The lying 
Magi promise those rubbed with this fat a readier 
popularity with peoples and with kings, especially 
when the fat is that between the brows, where no 
fat can be. Similar promises are made about the 
possession of a tooth, especially one from the right 
side, and of the tuft beneath the muzzle. The gall, 
used with the addition of water as a salve, improves 
vision, and if lion fat is added a slight taste cures 
epilepsy, provided that those who have taken it at 

the Burmese as aphrodisiac. See Elephant Blll, by J. H. 
Williams. 

63 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cursu id digerant. cor in cibo sumptum quartanis medc- 
tur, adips cum rosaceo cotidianis febribus. perunctos 
eo bestiae fugiunt, resistere etiam insidiis videtur. 

91 XXVI. Cameli cerebrum arefactum potumque 
ex aceto comitialibus morbis aiunt mederi, item fel 
cum melle potum, hoc et anginae, cauda arefacta 
solvi alvum, fimi cinere crispari capillum. cum oleo 
et dysintericis prodest inlitus cinis potusque quantum 
tribus digitis capiatur, et comitialibus morbis. 
urinam fullonibus utilissimam esse tradunt itemque 
ulceribus manantibus — barbaros constat servare eam 
quinquennio et heminis pota x ciere alvum — saetas e 
cauda contortas et sinistro bracchio allgiatas quartanis 
mederi. 

92 XXVII. Hyaenam Magi ex omnibus animalibus 
in maxima admiratione posuerunt, utpote cui et ipsi 
magicas artes dederint vimque qua alliciat ad se 
homines mente alienatos. de permutatione sexus 
annua vice diximus, ceteraque de monstrifica natura 
eius ; nunc persequemur quaecumque medicinis 

93 produntur. praecipue pantheris terrori esse traditur, 
ut ne conentur quidem resistere, et aliquid e corio 
eius habentem non adpeti, mirumque dictu, si pelles 
utriusque contrariae suspendantur, decidere pilos 

1 pota d vulg. Mayhoff : potae V Detlefsen : potam Sillig. 
Mayhoff barbaros servare cum manantibus coniungit. Coni. 
hemina Warmington. 

a Mayhoff would put a full stop not after capillum but after 
oleo. He refers to Dioscorides Euporista I 91 (97) : d-noTraTos 
KafjLTjAov Kaeloa Kal avv iXalaj KaTanXaadelaa. This, however, 
refers to an ointment for making children's hair beautiful 
and thick, not to one for making any hair curly. Of course 
some greasy base is usually necessary for the application 
of any powder. 

64 



BOOK XXVIII. xxv. 90-xxvn. 93 

once aid its digestion by running. The heart taken 
as a food cures quartans ; the fat with rose oil cures 
quotidians. Wild beasts run away from those 
smeared with it, and it is supposed to protect even 
from treachery. 

XXVI. They say that a camel's brain, dried and Remedies 
taken in vinegar, cures epilepsy, as does the gall {JJJJJJ,/** 
taken with honey, this being also a remedy for 
quinsy ; that the tail when dried is laxative, and 

that the a^h of the burnt dung makes the hair curl. a 
This ash applied with oil is also good for dysentery, 
as is a three-finger pinch taken in drink, and also 
for epilepsy. They say that the urine is very useful 
to the fullers, and for running ulcers — it is a fact that 
foreigners keep it for five years, and use hemina- 
doses as a purgative — and that the tail hairs plaited 
into an amulet for the left arm cure quartan fevers. 

XXVII. The Magi have held in the highest ad- Remedies 
miration the hyaena of all animals, seeing that they ^yZim^ 
have altributed even to an animal magical skill and 
power, 6 by which it takes away the senses and 
entices men to itself. I have spoken c of its yearly 
change of sex and its other weird characteristics ; 

now I am going to speak of all that is reported about 
its medicinal properties. It is said to be a terror to 
panthers in particular, so that a panther does not 
even attempt to resist an hyaena ; that a person 
carrying anything made of hyaena leather is not 
attacked, and, marvellous to relate, if the skins of 
each are hung up opposite to one another the hairs 

6 In Chapter XXIII were, it seems, several instances of vis 
in the sense of " mana." 

e See VIII. § 105. For the change of sex, Ovid Meta- 
morphoses XV. 409 foll. 

65 

VOL. VIII. D 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pantherae ; cum fugiant venantem, declinare ad 
dexteram ut praegressi hominis vestigia occupent ; 
quod si successerit, alienari mentem ac vel ex equo 
hominem decidere ; at si in laevam detorserit, 
deficientis argumentum esse celeremque capturam, 
facilius autem capi, si cinctus suos venator flagellum- 
que inperitans equo septenis alligaverit nodis. 

94 mox, ut est sollers ambagibus vanitas Magorum, 
capi iubent geminorum signum transeunte luna 
singulosque prope pilos servari ; capitis dolori 
inligatam cutem prodesse quae fuerit in capite eius ; 
lippitudini fel inlitum frontibus aut, ne omnino 
lippiatur, decoctum cum mellis Attici cyathis tribus 
et croci uncia inunctum ; sic et caligines discuti et 

95 suffusiones ; claritatem excitari melius inveterato 
medicamento, adservari autem in Cypria pyxide ; 
eodem sanari argema, scabritias, excrescentia in 
oculis, item cicatrices, glaucomata vero iocineris 
recentis inassati sanie cum despumato melle inunctis. 
dentes eius dentium doloribus tactu prodesse vel 
alligatos ordine, 1 umeros umerorum et lacertorum 
doloribus ; eiusdem dentes, si de sinistra parte rostri, 
inligatos pecoris aut capri pelle stomachi cruciatibus, 

96 pulmones in cibo sumptos coeliacis, ventriculis 2 

1 ordine, humeros vulg., Detlefsen : numeri ordine Mayhoff : 
humeri (umeri) ordine codd. An numeri ordine. humeros ? 

2 ventricuhs codd. : vel ventricuh Mayhoff. 



" With Mayhoff 's reading, " the shoulders " should be 
omitted. This reading keeps the order of words in the MSS., 
but the sympathetic (or imitative) magic disappears. 

66 



BOOK XXVIII. xxvn. 93-96 

of the panther fall off. When an hyaena is running 
away from the hunter, any swerve it makes to the 
right has for its object stepping in the man's tracks 
as he now goes in front. If it succeeds, the 
man is deranged and even falls off his horse. 
Should however the hyaena swerve to the left, it 
is a sign of failing strength and a speedy capture ; 
this will be easier however if the hunter tie his 
girdle with seven knots, and seven in the whip 
with which he controls his horse. The Magi go on 
to recommend, so cunning are the evasions of the 
fraudulent charlatans, that the hyaena should be 
captured when the moon is passing through the 
constellation of the Twins, without, if possible, 
the loss of a single hair. They add that the skin 
of its head if tied on relieves headache ; that the 
gall if applied to the forehead cures ophthalmia, 
preventing it altogether if an ointment is made of gall 
boiled down with three cyathi of Attic honey and 
one ounce of saffron, and that the same prescription 
disperses filrn and cataract. They say that clear 
vision is secured better if the medicament is kept till 
old, but it must be in a box of copper ; the same is 
a cure for argema, scabbiness, excrescences and 
scars on the eyes, but opaqueness needs an ointment 
made with gravy from fresh roasted liver added to 
skimmed honey. They add that hyaena's teeth 
relieve toothache by the touch of the corresponding 
tooth, or by using it as an amulet, and the shoulders ° 
relieve pains of the shoulders and arm muscles ; that 
the animaFs teeth (but they must be from the left 
side of the muzzle), wrapped in sheep skin or goat 
skin, are good for severe pains in the stomach, the 
lungs taken as food for coeliac disease, and their 

67 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cinerem cum oleo inlitum ; nervis medullas e dorso 
cum oleo vetere ac felle ; febribus quartanis iocur 
degustatum ter ante accessiones ; podagris spinae 
cinerem cum lingua et dextro pede vituli marini 
addito felle taurino, omnia pariter cocta atque inlita 
hyaenae pelle ; in eodem morbo prodesse et fel 

97 cum lapide Assio ; tremulis, spasticis, exilientibus 
et quibus cor palpitet aliquid ex corde coctum 
mandendum ita ut reliquae partis cinis cum cerebro 
hyaenae inlinatur; pilos etiam auferri hac conposi- 
tione inlita aut per se felle, evulsis prius quos renasci 
non libeat ; sic et palpebris inutiles tolli ; lumborum 
doloribus carnes e lumbis edendas inlinendasque cum 
oleo ; sterilitatem mulierum emendari oculo cum 
glycyrrhiza et aneto sumpto in cibo, promisso intra 

98 triduum conceptu. contra nocturnos pavores um- 
brarumque terrorem unus e magnis dentibus lino 
alligatus succurrere narratur. suffiri furentes eodem 
et circumligari ante pectus cum adipe renium aut 
iocinere aut pelle * praecipiunt. mulieri candida a 
pectore hyaenae caro et pili septem 2 et genitale 
cervi, si inligentur dorcadis pelle, e 3 collo suspensa 

99 continere partus promittuntur ; venerem stimulare 
genitalia ad sexus suos 4 in melle sumpta, etiamsi 

1 pelle codd. : felle coni. Mayhoff, forta-sse recte. 

2 septem codd. : septeni Mayhoff. 

3 e add. Mayhoff : om. codd. 

* ad sexus suos codd. : ab sexu suo coni. Maylwff. 

° The power of the number three is superior to the imitative 
magic of the " four " that we should expect for quartans. 

6 See XXXVI. § 131 for the sarcophagm lapis found at 
Assos in the Troad. 

c MayhofTs felle for the pelle of the MSS. is most attractive. 
A few words later on pelle occurs, and might easily cause the 
change from felle to pelle. 
68 



BOOK XXVIII. xxvn. 96-99 

ash, applied with oil, for pain in the belly ; that 
sinews are soothed by its spinal marrow with its gall 
and old oil, quartan fevers relieved by three a tastes 
of the liver before the attacks, gout by the ash of the 
spine, with the tongue and right foot of a seal added 
to bulTs gall, all being boiled together and applied 
on hyaena skin. In the same disease the gall of the 
hyaena (so they say) with the stone of Assos b is 
beneficial; adding that those afflicted with tremors, 
spasms, jumpiness, and palpitation, should eat a 
piece of the heart boiled, but the rest must be 
reduced to ash and hyaena's brain added to make 
an ointment ; that an application of this mixture 
or of the gall by itself removes hairs, those not 
wanted to grow again must first be pulled out ; 
by this method unwanted eye-lashes are removed; 
that for pains in the loins flesh of an hyaena's loins 
should be eaten and used as an ointment with 
oil ; that barrenness in women is cured by an eye 
taken in food with liquorice and dill, conception 
being guaranteed within three days. For night 
terrors and fear of ghosts one of the large teeth tied 
on with thread as an amulet is said to be a help. 
They recommend fumigation with such a tooth 
for delirium, and to tie one round in front of the 
patient's chest, adding fat from the kidneys, or a piece 
of liver, or of skin. c A woman is guaranteed never to 
miscarry if, tied round her neck in gazelle leather, 
she wears white flesh from a hyaena's breast, seven 
hyaena's hairs, and the genital organ of a stag. A 
hyaena's genitals taken in honey stimulate desire 
for their own sex, d even when men hate inter- 

d Mayhoffs a sexu suo would mean " from homosexu- 
ality." 

69 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

viri nuilierum coitus oderint ; quin immo totius 
domus concordiam eodem genitali et articulo spinae 
cum adhaerente corio adservatis constare. hunc l 
spinae 2 articulum sive 3 nodum Atlantion vocant ; 
est autem primus. in comitialium quoque remediis 

100 habent eum. adipe accenso serpentes fugari dicunt ; 
maxilla comminuta in aneso et in cibo sumpta horrores 
sedari; eodem suffitu mulierum menses evocari. 
tantumque est vanitatis ut, si ad bracchium alligetur 
superior e dextra parte rostri dens, iaculantium ictus 
deerraturos negent. palato eiusdem arefacto et 
cum alumine Aegyptio calefacto ac ter in ore per- 
mutato faetores et ulcera oris emendari, eos vero 
qui linguam in calciamento sub pede habeant non 

101 latrari a canibus ; sinistra parte cerebri naribus 
inlita morbos perniciosos mitigari sive hominum sive 
quadripedum ; frontis corium fascinationibus re- 
sistere, cervicis carnes, sive mandantur sive arefactae 
bibantur, lumborum doloribus ; nervis a dorso 
armisque suffiendos nervorum dolores, pilos rostri 
admotos mulierum labris amatorium esse ; iocur in 

102 potu datum torminibus et calculis mederi. nam cor 
in cibo potuve sumptum omnibus doloribus corporum 
auxiliari, lienem lienibus, omentum ulcerum inrlam- 
mationibus cum oleo, medullas doloribus spinae 
et nervorum lassitudini ; renium nervos potos in 

1 hunc r : hinc rel. codd. 
- spinae rel. codd. : ruinae r. 

3 sive codd. : scite Mayhoff, qui etiam lacunam ante sive 
coni. 



a The text is very uncertain, but Mayhoff 's scite (" cleverly ") 
can hardly be right. The variant ruinae shows that the source 
of corruption lies very deep. 

7 o 



BOOK XXVIII. xxvii. 99-102 

course with women ; nay the peaoe of the whole 
household is assured by keeping in the home these 
genitals and a vertebra with the hide still adhering to 
them. This vertebra or joint they call the Atlas 
joint : a it is the first. They consider it too to be one 
of the remedies for epilepsy. They add that burn- 
ing hyaena fat keeps serpents away ; that the 
jawbone, pounded in anise and taken in food, relieves 
fits of shivering, and that fumigation with it is an 
emmenagogue. They lie so grossly as to declare 
that, if an upper tooth from the right side of the 
muzzle is tied to the arm of a man, his javelin will 
never miss its mark. They say too that the palate of 
a hyaena, dried, and warmed with Egyptian alum, b 
cures foul breath and ulcers in the mouth, if the 
mixture is renewed three times ; that those however 
who carry a hyaena's tongue in their shoe under 
the foot never have dogs bark at them ; that if a 
part of the left side of the brain is smeared on 
patients' nostrils dangerous diseases are relieved, 
whether of man or quadruped ; that the hide of the 
forehead averts the evil eye, and the flesh of the 
neck, whether eaten, or dried and taken in drink, is 
good for lumbago ; that sinews from the back and 
shoulders should be used for fumigating painful 
sinews ; that hairs from the muzzle, applied to a 
woman's lips, act as a love-charm ; that the liver 
given in drink cures colic and stone in the bladder. 
But they add that the heart, taken either in food or in 
drink, gives relief from all pains of the body, the 
spleen from those of the spleen, the caul with oil from 
inflamed ulcers, and the marrow from pains of the 
spine and of tired sinews ; that the kidney sinews 
6 For alumen see Spencer's Celsus vol. II p. xviii. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vino cum ture fecunditatem restituere ademptam 
veneficio ; vulvam cum mali Punici dulcis cortice 
in potu datam prodesse mulierum vulvae ; adipe a 
lumbis suffiri parientes difficulter et statim parere ; e 
dorso medullam adalligatam contra vanas species 

103 opitulari, spasticis genitale e maribus suffitu, item 
lippientibus ; ruptis et contra inflammationes, 
servatos l pedes tactu, laevos dexteris partibus, 
dexteros laevis ; sinistrum pedem superlatum par- 
turienti letalem esse, dextro inlato facile eniti. 
membranam quae fel continuerit cardiacis potam in 
vino vel in cibo sumptam 2 succurrere ; vesicam in 
vino potam contra urinae incontinentiam ; quae 

104 autem in vesica inventa sit urina, additis oleo ac 
sesamis et melle haustam prodesse stomachi acri- 
moniae 3 veteri. costarum primam et octavam 
suffitu ruptis salutarem esse ; ex spina vero partu- 
rientibus ossa; sanguinem cum polenta sumptum 
torminibus ; eodem tactis postibus ubicumque 
Magorum infestari artes, non elici deos nec conloqui, 

1 servatos codd. : adversos Mayhoff, qui etiam alternos 
coni. : fervefaetos coni. Sillig. 

2 Post sumptam habent contra (r excepto) codd. : post 
contra lacunam indicat Mayhoff. 

3 stomachi acrimoniae Mayhoff : acrimoniae Caesarius : 
aegrimoniae Gelenius, Hermolaus Barbarus : aegrimonio 
codd. 



a A semicolon at lippientibus improves the run of this 
sentence. 

6 The servatos of the MSS. can hardly be right, but it just 
makes sense, and the proposed emendations are not convincing. 

72 



BOOK XXVIII. xxvii. 102-104 

taken with frankincense in wine restore fertility 
lost through sorcery ; that the uterus with the rind 
of a sweet pomegranate given in drink is good for the 
uterus of women ; that the fat from the loins, used 
in fumigation, gives even immediate delivery to 
women in difficult labour; that the spinal marrow 
used as an amulet is a help against hallucinations, 
and fumigation with the male organ against spasms, 
as well as ophthalmia ; ° that for ruptures and inflam- 
mations a help is the touch of an hyaena's feet, which 
are kept for the purpose, 6 of the left foot for affec- 
tions on the right side, and of the right foot for 
affections on the left side ; that the left foot, drawn 
across c a woman in labour, causes death, but the right 
foot laid on c her easy delivery. The Magi say that 
the membrane enclosing the gall, taken in wine or 
in the food, is of use in cardiac affections ; that the 
bladder taken in wine relieves incontinence of urine, 
and the urine found in the bladder, drunk with oil, 
sesame, and honey added, relieves chronic acidity 
of the stomach ; d that the first or e eighth rib, 
used in fumigation, is curative for ruptures, but the 
spinal bones are so for women in labour ; the blood 
taken with pearl barley is good for colic, and if the 
door-posts are everywhere touched with this blood, 
the tricks of the Magi are made ineffective, for they 
can neither call down the gods nor speak with them, 

c Littre, I think wrongly, translates as though superlatum 
and inlatum meant the same thing. 

d Mayhoffs emendation, bold as it is, is strongly supported 
by acrimonia stomachi in XXIII. § 142 ; otherwise, to keep 
the idea of like curing like, one would be tempted to emend 
to urinae acrimoniae veteri. 

e This is probably the meaning of the et in this clause 
because of the singular salutarem in the predicate. 

73 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sive lucernis sive pelvi, sive aqua sive pila, sive quo 
alio genere temptetur; carnes si edantur, contra 
rabidi canis morsus efficaces esse, etiamnum iocur 
efficacius. carnes vel ossa hominis quae in ventriculo 

105 occisae inveniantur suffitu podagricis auxiliari ; 
si ungues inveniantur in his, mortem alicuius capien- 
tium significari; excrementa sive ossa reddita, cum 
interematur, contra magicas insidias pollere ; fimum 
quod in intestinis inventum sit arefactum ad dysin- 
tericos valere, potum inlitumque cum adipe an- 
serino toto corpore opitulari laesis malo medicamento ; 
a cane vero morsis adipem inlitum et corium sub- 
stratum ; rursus tali sinistri cinere decocto cum 

106 sanguine mustelae perunctos omnibus odio venire ; 
idem fieri oculo decocto. super omnia est quod 
extremam fistulam intestini contra ducum ac 
potestatium iniquitates commonstrant et ad suc- 
cessus petitionum iudiciorumque ac litium eventus, 
si omnino x aliquis secum habeat ; eiusdem caverna 
in sinistro lacerto alligata si quis mulierem prospiciat, 
amatorium esse tam praesens ut ilico sequatur ; 
eiusdem loci pilorum cinerem ex oleo inlitum viris 
qui sint probrosae mollitiae severos, non modo 
pudicos mores induere. 

1 omnino Mayhoff : omnino tantum codd. 



a For another list of apparatus see XXX. § 14 aqua et 
sphaeris et aere et stellis et lucernis ac pelvibus securibusque. 
Some of the articles are suggestive of modern fortune-telling. 

74 



BOOK XXVIII. xxvii. 104-106 

whether they try lamps, bowl, water, globe,° or any 
other means ; that to eat the flesh neutralizes the 
bites of a mad dog, the liver being still more efficacious. 
They add that the flesh or bones of a man found in the 
stomach of an hyaena when killed relieve gout by 
fumigation ; that if finger nails are found in them 
it is a sign of death for one of the hunters ; 
that excrement or bones, voided when the beast 
is being killed, can prevail against the insidious 
attacks of sorcerers ; that dung found in the in- 
testines is, when dried, excellent for dysentery, 
and, taken in drink and applied with goose grease, 
gives relief anywhere in the body to the victims 
of noxious drugs ; that for dog-bites, however, 
rubbing with the fat as ointment, and lying on 
the skin, are helpful; that on the other hand 
those rubbed with the ash of the left pastern bone, 
boiled down with weaseVs blood, incur universal 
hatred, the same effect being produced by a decoction 
of the eye. Over and above all these things they 
assert that the extreme end of the intestine prevails 
against the injustices of leaders and potentates, 
bringing success to petitions and a happy issue to 
trials and lawsuits if it is merely kept on the person ; 
that the anus, worn as an amulet on the left arm, 
is so powerful a love-charm that, if a man but espies 
a woman, she at once follows him ; that the hairs 
also of this part, reduced to ashes, mixed with oil, 
and used as ointment on men guilty of shocking 
effeminacy, make them assume, not only a modest 
character, but one of the strictest morality. b 

b This remarkable chapter, throwing light as it does on folk- 
medicine and ancient superstitions, calls for a longer note than 
can be printed in the text. See Additional Note B (p. 563). 

75 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

107 XXVIII. Proxime fabulosus est crocodilus ingenio * 
quoque, ille cui vita in aqua terraque communis. 
duo enim genera eorum. illius e dextra maxilla 
dentes adalligati dextro lacerto coitus, si credimus, 
stimulant, canini dentes febres statas arcent ture 
repleti — sunt enim cavi — ita ne diebus quinque ab 
aegro cernatur qui adalligaverit. idem pollere et 
ventre exemptos lapillos adversus febrium horrores 

108 venientes tradunt. eadem de causa Aegypti perun- 
gunt adipe aegros suos. alter illi similis, multum 
infra magnitudine, in terra tantum odoratissimisque 
floribus vivit. ob id intestina eius diligenter ex- 
quiruntur iucundo nidore referta ; crocodileam 
vocant, oculorum vitiis utilissimam cum porri suco 

109 inunctis et contra suffusiones vel caligines. inlita 
quoque ex oleo cyprino molestias in facie nascentes 
tollit, ex aqua vero morbos omnes quorum natura 
serpit in facie, nitoremque reddit. lentigines tollit 
ac varos maculasque omnes, et contra comitiales 
morbos bibitur ex aceto mulso binis obolis. adposita 
menses ciet. optima quae candidissima et friabilis 
minimeque ponderosa, cum teratur inter digitos, 

110 fermentescens. lavatur ut cerussa. adulterant amylo 
aut Cimolia, sed maxime «(sturnorum fimo quos) 2 
captos oryza tantum pascunt. felle inunctis oculis 
ex melle contra suffusiones nihil utilius praedicant. 

1 ingenio (ingento V) codd.: ingens Harduinus. Post 
magnitudine (/. 11) ingenio quoque transferre velit Warmington, 
fortasse recte. 

2 sturnoruni fimo quos Ianus, Detlefsen, ex Dioscoride 
{II 80), sed qui r Gelenius, Mayhoff: sui VRd vulg. 

° Hardouin's ingenious conjecture would mean : " and he is a 
huge creature, and amphibious." 

6 Jan's addition is due to Dioscorides II 80 : 8oAi£ouai 8c av-rqv 
iftapas 6pvt,rj rpecfrovres /cai ttjv a<f>o8ov ofioiav ovoav ttu)Aovvt€S. 

76 



BOOK XXVIII. xxvm. 107-110 

XXVIII. Almost as legendary is the crocodile, Crocodiies. 
in its nature ° also — I mean the famous one, which 
is amphibious; for there are two kinds of crocodiles. 
His teeth from the right jaw, worn as an amulet 
on the right arm, are (if we believe it) aphrodisiac, 
while the dog teeth, stuffed with frankincense 
(for they are hollow), drive away the intermittent 
fevers if the sick man can be kept for five days 
from seeing the person who fastened them on. 
It is said that pebbles taken from his belly have 
a similar power to check feverish shivers as they 
come on. For the same reason the Egyptians rub 
their sick with its fat. The other kind of crocodile 
is similar to this, though much smaller in size, living 
only on land and eating very sweet-scented flowers. 
Its intestines therefore are much in demand, being 
filled with fragrant stuff called crocodilea, which 
with leek juice makes a very useful salve for affections 
of the eyes, and to treat cataract or films. Applied 
also with cyprus oil crocodilea removes blotches 
appearing on the face, with water indeed all those 
diseases the nature of which is to spread over the face, 
and it also clears the complexion. It removes 
freckles, pimples, and all spots ; two-oboli doses 
are taken in oxymel for epilepsy, and a pessary 
made of it acts as an emmenagogue. The best kind 
is very shiny, friable, and extremely light, ferment- 
ing when rubbed between the fingers. It is washed 
in the same way as white lead. They adulterate it 
with starch or Cimolian chalk, but mostly with 
the dung of starlings, b which they catch and feed 
on nothing but rice. We are assured that there is no 
more useful remedy for cataract than to anoint the 
eyes with crocodile's gall and honey. They say 

77 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

intestinis et reliquo corpore eius suffiri vulva labor- 
antes salutare tradunt, item velleribus circumdari 
vapore eiusdem infectis. corii utriusque cinis ex 
aceto inlitus his partibus quas secari opus sit aut 
nidor cremati sensum omnem scalpelli aufert. 

111 sanguis utriusque claritatem visus inunctis . . . x 
cicatrices oculorum emendat. corpus ipsum excepto 
capite pedibusque elixum manditur ischiadicis tus- 
simque veterem sanat, praecipue in pueris, item 
lumborum dolores. habent et adipem quo tactus 
pilus defluit. hic perunctos a crocodilis tuetur, 
instillaturque morsibus. cor adnexum in lana ovis 
nigrae cui nullus alius colos incursaverit et primo 
partu genitae quartanas abigere dicitur. 

112 XXIX. Iungemus illis simillima et peregrina aeque 
animalia, priusque chamaeleonem peculiari volumine 
dignum existimatum Democrito ac per singula 
membra desecratum, 2 non sine magna voluptate 
nostra cognitis proditisque mendaciis Graecae vani- 
tatis. similis et magnitudine est supra dicto croco- 
dilo, spinae tantum acutiore curvatura et caudae 

113 amplitudine distans. 3 nullum animal pavidius existi- 
matur et ideo versicoloris esse mutationis. vis eius 
maxima contra accipitrum genus. detrahere enim 
supervolantem ad se traditur et voluntarium praebere 

1 Lacunam indicavi : dat Detlefsen : excitat Mayhoff, 
qui etiam facit coni. 

2 desecratum R d : dissertatum coni. Mayhoff. 

3 distans] " Locus nondum sanatm " Mayhoff. 



° Does the et mean " or " ? The phrase is a queer one, 
unless it means that the body used in the fumigation should 
contain the intestines, which are essential for a cure. 

/8 



BOOK XXVIII. xxviii. no-xxix. 113 

that fumigation with the intestines and ° the rest 
of its body is of benefit to women with uterine 
trouble, as it is to wrap them up in a fleece im- 
pregnated with its steam. Ashes from burning the 
skin of either kind of crocodile, applied in vinegar 
to the parts in need of surgery, or even the fumes, 
cause no pain to be felt from the lancet. The 
blood of either kind, if the eyes are anointed with 
it, improves the vision and removes eye scars. The 
body itself, boiled without the head and feet, is 
eaten for sciatica and cures chronic cough, especially 
that of children, as well as lumbago. Crocodiles also 
have a fat, a touch of which makes hair fall out. 
Used as embrocation this protects from crocodiles, 
and is poured by drops into their bites. The heart, 
tied on in the wool of a black sheep, the first-born 
of its mother, the wool having no other colour 
intermixed, is said to drive away quartan fevers. b 

XXIX. To these animals I will add others very Chamaeieon. 
like them and equally foreign, taking first the 
chamaeleon, thought by Democritus worthy of 
a volume to itself, each part of the body receiving 
separate attention. It afforded me great amuse- 
ment to read an exposure of Greek lies and fraud. 
The chamaeleon is also as big as the crocodile just 
mentioned, c differing only in the greater curve of the 
spine and in the size of its tail. People think it the 
most timid of animals, and that it is for this reason 
it continually changes its colour. Over the hawk 
family it has very great power, for as a hawk flies 
overhead, it is brought down to the chamaeleon, 

6 Quartans were supposed to be caused by black bile. See 
Hippocrates, Nature of Man, ch. XV (Loeb IV, p. 41). 
c I.e. the land animal of § 108. 

79 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lacerandum ceteris animalibus. caput eius et guttur, 
si roboreis lignis accendantur, imbrium et tonitruum 
concursus facere Democritus narrat, item iocur in 

114 tegulis ustum. reliqua ad veneficia pertinentia quae 
dicit, quamquam * falsa existimantes, omittemus 
praeterquam ubi inrisu coarguendum : 2 dextro 
oculo, si viventi eruatur, albugines oculorum cum 
lacte caprino tolli, lingua adalligata pericula puer- 
perii ; eundem salutarem esse parturientibus, si sit 
domi, si vero inferatur, perniciosissimum. linguam, 
si viventi exempta sit, ad iudiciorum eventus pollere, 
cor adversus quartanas inligatum lana nigra primae 

115 tonsurae. pedem e prioribus dextrum pelle hyaenae 
adalligatum sinistro bracchio contra latrocinia terro- 
resque nocturnos pollere, item dextram mamillam 3 
contra formidines pavoresque ; sinistrum vero pedem 
torreri in furno cum herba quae aeque chamaeleon 
vocetur, additoque unguento pastillos eos 4 in ligneum 
vas conditos praestare, si credimus, ne cernatur ab 

116 aliis qui id habeat. armum dextrum ad vincendos 
adversarios vel hostes valere, utique si abiectos 
eiusdem nervos calcaveris — sinistrum umerum 5 quibus 
monstris consecret, qualiter somnia quae velis et 
quibus velis mittantur, pudet referre — somnia ea 
dextro pede resolvi, sicut sinistro latere lethargos quos 

1 quamquam codd., edd. : tanquam vet. Dal. 

2 coarguendum d( ?) Gelenius : coarguent eum Mayhoff : 
coarguentium VR vulg. 

3 mamillam codd. edd. : maxillam vet. Dal. 

4 eos codd. : factos coni. Mayhoff. 

6 umerum codd. Detlefsen : vero Mayhoff : mirum vulg. 



a And therefore harmless. 

6 Perhaps " chamaeleon; " eundem is ambiguous. 

8o 



BOOK XXVIII. xxix. 113-116 

they say, and made an unresisting prey for other 
animals to tear. Democritus relates that its head 
and throat, if burnt on logs of oak, cause storms 
of rain and thunder, as does the liver if burnt 
on tiles. The rest of what he says is of the 
nature of sorcery, and although I think that it is 
untrue,° I shall omit all, except where something 
must be refuted by being laughed at ; examples are 
as follow. The right eye, plucked from the living 
animal and added to goat's milk, removes white 
ulcers on the eyes ; the tongue, worn as an amulet, 
the perils of childbirth. The same eye, 5 if in the 
house, is favourable to childbirth ; if brought in, 
very dangerous. The tongue, taken from the living 
animal, controls the results of cases in the courts ; 
the heart, tied on with black wool of the first shear- 
ing, overcomes quartan fevers. The right front 
foot, tied as an amulet to the left arm by hyaena 
skin, is powerful protection against robbery and 
terrors of the night, and the right teat c against fears 
and panic. The left foot however is roasted in a 
furnace with the plant that also is called chamaeleon. 
an unguent is added, and the lozenges thus made 
are stored away in a wooden vessel and, if we believe 
it, make the owner invisible to others. The right 
shoulder has power to overcome adversaries and 
public enemies, especially if a person throws away 
sinews of the same animal and treads on them. But 
as to the left shoulder, I am ashamed to repeat the 
grotesque magic that Democritus assigns to it ; how 
any dreams you like be may sent to any person you 
like ; how these dreams are dispelled by the right 
foot, just as the torpor caused by the right foot is 

e The conjecture maxillam will mean " jaw." 

81 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fecerit dexter. sic * capitis dolores insperso vino 
in quo latus alterutrum maceratum sit sanari. si 
feminis sinistri vel pedis cinere misceatur lac suillum, 

117 podagricos fieri 2 inlitis pedibus. felle glaucomata 
et sumisiones corrigi prope creditur tridui inunctione, 
serpentes fugari ignibus instillato, mustelas contrahi 
in aquam coiecto, corpori vero inlito detrahi pilos. 
idem praestare narrat iocur cum ranae rubetae 
pulmone inlitum, praeterea iocinere amatoria dissolvi, 
melancholicos autem sanari, si ex corio chamaeleonis 
sucus herbae Heleniae bibatur, intestina et fartum 
eorum, cum animal id nullo cibo vivat, cum 3 simi- 
arum urina inlita inimicorum ianuae odium omnium 

118 hominum his conciliare ; cauda flumina et aquarum 
impetus sisti, serpentes soporari ; eadem medicata 
cedro et murra inligataque gemino ramo palmae 
percussam aquam discuti, ut quae intus sint omnia 
appareant, utinamque eo ramo contactus esset 
Democritus, quoniam ita loquacitates inmodicas 
promisit inhiberi. palamque est virum alias sagacem 
et vitae utilissimum nimio iuvandi mortales studio 
prolapsum. 

119 XXX. Ex eadem similitudine est scincus — et 
quidam terrestrem crocodilum esse dixerunt — 
candidior autem et tenuiore cute. praecipua tamen 

1 sic d T Detlefsen : set Mayhoff : sit V R : del. vulg. 

2 fieri codd. edd. : liberari vel sanari coni. Mayhoff: refici 
vel sanos fieri Warmington. 

3 cum] Add. Detlefsen : post urina add. una Mayhoff. 

a Probably some emendation is required meaning " cured." 
b Littre thinks that Pliny is here giving both the Greek 

word (glaucoma) and the Latin (suffusio) for one disease of the 

eye. 

c A plain instance of vero introducing the climax of a list. 

82 



BOOK XXVIII. xxix. 116-xxx. 119 

dispelled by the left flank. In this way headache 
is cured by sprinkling on the head wine in which 
either side of a chamaeleon has been soaked. If 
sow's milk is mixed with the ash of the left thigh 
or foot, gout is caused a by rubbing the feet with the 
mixture. It is practically a current belief that 
anointing the eyes for three days with the gall is a 
cure for opaqueness of the eye and cataract, 6 that 
serpents run away if the gall is dropped into fire, 
that weasels run together when it is thrown into 
water, while c hairs are removed from the body when 
it is rubbed therewith. Democritus relates that the 
same result comes from applying the liver with the 
lung of the bramble toad ; that moreover the liver 
makes of no effect love charms and philtres, curing 
melancholy also if the juice of the herb helenium 
is drunk in a chamaeleon's skin ; that the intestines 
and their content (although the animal lives without 
food) with the urine of apes, if smeared on the door 
of an enemy, brings on him the hatred of all men ; 
that by its tail rivers and rushing waters are stayed 
and serpents put to sleep ; that the tail also, if 
treated with cedar and myrrh and tied on to a twin 
palm-branch, divides the water struck with it, so that 
all within becomes plain. Would that Democritus 
had been touched with such a branch, seeing that he 
assures us that by it wild talk is restrained! It is 
clear that a man, in other respects of sound judgement 
and of great service to humanity, fell very low 
through his over-keenness to help mankind. 

XXX. A similar animal is the scincos d — and Thc stincos. 
indeed it has been styled the land crocodile — but it is 
paler, and with a thinner skin. The chief difference, 

d Not the lizard now called the skink but a larger onc. 

83 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

differentia dinoscitur a crocodilo squamarum serie 
a cauda ad caput versa. maximus Indicus, deinde 
Arabicus. adferuntur salsi. rostrum eius et pedes 
in vino albo poti cupiditates veneris accendunt, 
utique cum satyrio et erucae semine singulis drachmis 
omnium ac piperis duabus admixtis. ita pastilli 

120 singularum drachmarum bibantur. per se laterum 
carnes obolis binis cum murra et pipere pari modo 
potae efficaeiores ad idem creduntur. prodest et 
contra sagittarum venena, ut Apelles tradit, ante 
posteaque sumptus. in antidota quoque nobilia 
additur. Sextius plus quam drachmae pondere 
in vini hemina potum perniciem adferre tradit, 
praeterea eiusdem x decocti ius cum melle sumptum 
venerem inhibere. 

121 XXXI. Est crocodilo cognatio quaedam amnis 
eiusdem geminique victus cum hippopotamio, re- 
pertore detrahendi sanguinis, ut diximus,' plurimo 
autem super Saiticam praefecturam. huius corii 
cinis cum aqua inlitus panos sanat, adips frigidas 
febres, item fimum suffitu, dentes e parte laeva 
dolorem dentium scarifatis gingivis. pellis eius e 

1 eiusdem codd. : lentium Gesner e Dioscoride II 66. 



° I.e. with no other part of the beast added. 

6 A native of Thasos mentioned by Galen. 

c Sextius Niger, " who wrote in Greek," as Pliny says in 
his list of authorities, was a writer on materia medica. He is 
mentioned by both Dioscorides and Galen. Some scholars 
believe that Pliny drew much of his information from this 
source, as he never mentions Dioscorides. 

d The reason for Gesner's emendation lentium is that 
Dioscorides in his account of the oKiyKos (II 66 Wellmann) 

84 



BOOK XXVIII. xxx. 119-xxxi. i2i 

however, between it and the crocodile is in the 
arrangement of the scales, which are turned from the 
tail towards the head. The Indian is the biggest 
scincos, next coming the Arabian. They import 
them salted. Its muzzle and feet, taken in white 
wine, are aphrodisiac, especially with the addition 
of satyrion and rocket seed, a single drachma of all 
three and two drachmae of pepper being com- 
pounded. One-drachma lozenges of the compound 
should be taken in drink. Two oboli of the flesh of 
the flanks by itself, a taken in drink with myrrh and 
pepper in similar proportions, are believed to be 
more efficacious for the same purpose. It is also 
good for the poison of arrows, as Apelles b informs us, 
if taken before and after the wound. It is also an 
ingredient of the more celebrated antidotes. 
Sextius c says that more than a drachma by weight, 
taken in a hemina of wine, is a fatal dose, and that 
moreover the broth of a scincos d taken with honey is 
antaphrodisiac. 

XXXI. There is a kind of relationship between Hippo- 
the crocodile and the hippopotamus, for they both ^ 
live in the same river and both are amphibious. The 
hippopotamus, as I have related,* was the discoverer 
of bleeding, and is most numerous above the pre- 
fecture of Sais. His hide, reduced to ash and applied 
with water, cures superficial abscesses ; the fat and 
likewise the dung chilly agues by fumigation, and the 
teeth on the left side, if the gums are scraped with 
them, aching teeth. The hide from the left side of 
his forehead, worn as an amulet on the groin, is an 

says : avaTravcoOai Se tt)v cVitooiv rrjs TTpodvp.ias <j>aKov a<f>ei}>r)p.aTi 
/Li€T(i /xeXiTOS TTi.vop.4va>. 
• Book VIII. § 96. 

85 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sinistra parte frontis inguini adalligata venerem 
inhibet, eiusdem cinis alopecias explet. testiculi 
drachma ex aqua contra serpentes bibitur. sanguine 
pictores utuntur. 

122 XXXII. Peregrinae sunt et lynces, quae clarissime 
quadripedum omnium cernunt. ungues earum omnes 
cum corio exuri efficacissime in Carpatho insula 
tradunt. hoc cinere poto propudia virorum, eius- 
demque aspersu feminarum libidines inhiberi, item 
pruritus corporum, urina stillicidia vesicae. itaque 
eam protinus terra pedibus adgesta obruere traditur. 
eadem autem et iugulorum dolori monstratur in 
remedio. 

123 XXXIII. Hactenus de externis. nunc praever- 
temur ad nostrum orbem, primumque communia 
animalium remedia atque eximia dicemus, sicuti e 
lactis usu. utilissimum cuique maternum. [conci- 
pere nutrices exitiosum est, hi sunt enim infantes qui 
colostrati appellantur, densato lacte in casei speciem. 
est autem colostra prima a partu spongea densitas 
lactis.] x maxime autem alit quodcumque humanum, 
mox caprinum, unde fortassis fabulae Iovem ita 
nutritum dixere. dulcissimum ab hominis cameli- 
num, efficacissimum ex asinis. magnorum animalium 

124 et corporum facilius redditur. stomacho adcommo- 
datissimum caprinum, quoniam fronde magis quam 

1 uncos ego posui. 



" I think that this sentence belongs elsewhere, perhaps 
after § 72. Another possibility is that Plinj' forgot what he 
said in XI. § 237, where he calls colo.stratio an ailment caused 
by the young\s taking mother's milk too soon. If Pliny wrote 
concipere . . . speciem, the next sentence, est autem . . . 
lact%8, might be a scribe's marginal correction, which was 

86 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxi. 121-xxxiii. 124 

antaphrodisiac ; the same reduced to ash restores 
hair lost through mange. A drachma of a testicle 
is taken in water for snake bite. The blood is used 
by painters. 

XXXII. The lynx too is a foreign animal, and has Lynx. 
keener sight than any other quadruped. On the 
island of Carpathus all their nails, with the hide, make, 

it is said, a very efficacious medicine when reduced 
to ash by burning. They say that these ashes 
taken in drink by men check shameful conduct, and 
sprinkled on women lustful desire ; that they also 
cure irritation of the skin and that the urine cures 
strangury. And so, as is said, the animal at once 
covers it with earth by scratching with his paws. 
This urine is also prescribed for pain in the throat. 

XXXIII. Hitherto I have dealt with things foreign, Miiks. 
but will now turn to the Roman world, speaking first 

of remedies common to all animals and excellent in 
quality, such as milk and its uses. Mother's milk is 
for everybody the most beneficial. [It is very bad 
for women to conceive while nursing ; their nurseiings 
are called colostrati, the milk being thick like cheese. 
But colostra is the first milk given after delivery, and 
is thick and spongy.] a But anv woman's rnilk is 
more nouri^hing than any other kind, the next being 
that of the goat ; this perhaps is the origin of the storv 
that Jupiter was nursed in this way. The sweetest milk 
after woman's is that of the camel, the most efficacious 
that of the ass. A big species or a big individual 
yields its milk more readily. Goat's milk is the most 
suited to the stomach, as the animal browses rather 

aftenvards added to the text. It should be noticed that the 
connection of thought is easy and natural if maxime autem 
follows immediately after rnaternum. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

herba vescuntur. bubulum medicatius, ovillum dul- 
cius et magis alit, stomacho minus utile, quoniam est 
pinguius. ornne autem vernum aquatius aestivo et 
de novellis. probatissimum vero quod in ungue 
haeret nec defluit. innocentius decoctum, praecipue 
cum calculis marinis. alvus maxime solvitur bubulo, 
minus autem inflat quodcumque decoctum. usus 

125 lactis ad omnia intus exulcerata, maxime renes, 
vesicam, interanea, fauces, pulmones, foris pruritum 
cutis, eruptiones pituitae poti ab l abstinentia. 2 nam 
ut in Arcadia bubulum biberent phthisici, syntectici, 
cachectae, diximus in ratione herbarum. sunt inter 
exempla qui asininum bibendo liberati sint podagra 

126 chiragrave. medici speciein unam addidere lactis 
generibus quod schiston appellavere. id fit hoc 
modo : fictili novo fervet caprinum maxime, ramisque 
ficulneis recentibus miscetur additis totidem cyathis 
mulsi quot sint heminae lactis. cum fervet, ne 3 cir- 
cumfundatur praestat cyathus argenteus cum frigida 
aqua demissus ita ne quid infundat. ablatum deinde 
igni refrigeratione dividitur et discedit serum a lacte. 

127 quidam et ipsum serum iam multo potentissimum 

1 poti ab f : poti at F : potior d x : poscit R : post r. 

2 abstinentia Vdx vulg. : abstinentiam R. In textu poti ab 
abstinentia et Detlefsen et Mayhoff, qui addit : " locus nondum 
sanatus.an posci abstinentia medicaminum ut in sqq ? Cfr. 
XXV 94." 

3 ne Hermolaus Barbarus, Mayhoff : ni codd., Detlefsen. 

° Dioscorides has (II. § 70) p.a\iara ok hiairvpois /cd^Aa^iv 
€$iK(iaodev (" especialiy when boiled down by hot pebbles "). 
Pliny seems to have misunderstood his original, or to have 
had different Greek before him. 

6 For a good account of modern uses of milk see W. T. 
Fernie, Animal Simples, pp. 301-317. 

c For eruptiones pituitae see List of Diseases. 

88 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxin. 124-127 

than grazes. Cow's milk is more medicinal, sheep's 
sweeter and more nourishing, although less useful for 
the stomach because of its greater richness. All 
spring milk, however, is more watery than that of 
summer, as is that from new pastures. The highest 
grade, however, is that of which a drop stays on the 
nail without falling oflf. Milk is less harmful when 
boiled, especially with sea pebbles. Cow's milk is 
the most relaxing, and any milk causes less flatulence 
when boiled. b Milk is used for all internal ulcers, 
especially those of the kidneys, bladder, intestines, 
throat, and lungs, externally for irritation of the 
skin, and for outbursts of phlegm, c but it must be 
drunk after fasting. d And I have mentioned in my 
account of herbs e how in Arcadia cow's milk is drunk 
by consumptives, and by those in a decline or poor 
state of health. Cases too are quoted of patients 
who by drinking ass's milk have been freed from gout 
in feet or hands. To the various kinds of milk 
phvsicians have added another, named schiston, that 
is, " divided." It is made in this way : milk, by 
preference goat's milk, is boiled in new/ earthen- 
ware and stirred with fresh branches of a fig-tree, 
after adding as many cyathi of honey wine as there 
are heminae of milk. When it boils, to prevent its 
boiling over a silver cyathus of cold water is lowered 
into it so that none is spilled. Then taken off the 
fire it divides as it cools, and the whey separates from 
the milk. Some also boil down to one-third the 

d It is difficult to see why Mayhoff cahs this passage locus 
nondum sanatus. The gramrnar, at any rate, is no looser than 
in manv other places. 

* See* XXV. § 94. 

f Why new ? Probably so as to avoid contamination or 
for a magical reason. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

decocunt ad tertias partes et sub diu refrigerant. 
bibitur autem efficacissime heminis per intervalla, 
statis * diebus quinae ; melius a potu gestari. datur 
comitialibus, melancholicis, paralyticis, in lepris, 

128 elephantiasi, articulariis morbis. infunditur quoque 
lac contra rosiones a medicamentis factas et, si urat 
dysinteria, decoctum cum marinis lapillis aut cum 
tisana hordeacia. item ad intestinorum rosiones bu- 
bulum aut ovillum utilius, recens quoque dysintericis 
infunditur, ad colum autem crudum, item vulvae et 
propter serpentium ictus potisve pityocampis, bu- 

129 presti, cantharidum aut salamandrae venenis, priva- 
tim bubulum his qui Colchicum biberint aut cicutam 
aut dorycnium aut leporem marinum, sicut asininum 
contra gypsum et cerussam et sulpur et argentum 
vivum, item durae alvo in febri. gargarizatur quoque 
faucibus exulceratis, utilissime et bibitur ab imbecilli- 
tate vires recolligentibus quos atrophos vocant, in 
febri etiam quae careat dolore capitis. pueris ante 
cibum lactis asinini heminam dari, aut si exitus cibi 
rosiones sentirent, antiqui in arcanis habuerunt, si 

130 hoc non esset, caprini. bubuli serum orthopnoicis 
prodest ante cetera addito nasturtio. inunguntur 
etiam oculi in lactis heminas additis sesamae drachmis 
quattuor tritis in Hppitudine. caprino lienes sanantur, 
post bidui inediam tertio die hedera pastis capris, 

1 statis ego : satis lanus, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : singulis 
veteres edd. : salis codd. 



a With the reading singulis, " separate." With satis 
(apparently) " five herainae are enough for the day3 (on whieh 
it is taken).'' This is strange Latin, and exereise, or a drive, 
five times a day seems excessive. It is more natural to 

90 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxiii. 127-130 

whev itself, which is now very vinous indeed, and 
cool it in the open air. But the most efficacious way 
to drink it is a hemina at a time at intervals, five 
heminae in all on fixed a days ; it is better to take a 
drive afterwards. It is given for epilepsy, melancholia, 
paralysis, leprous sores, leprosy, and diseases of the 
joints. Milk is also injected for smarting caused by 
purges, or, for the smarting of dysentery, milk boiled 
down with b sea pebbles or with barley gruel. For 
smarting intestines also cow's milk or sheep's is the 
more effective. Fresh milk too is injected for 
dysentery, and raw milk for colitis, uterus trouble, 
snake bite, swallowing pine-caterpillars, buprestis, 
the poison of Spanish fly c or salamander, and cow's 
milk is specific when there has been taken in drink 
Colchicum, hemlock, dorycnium, or sea hare, as ass's 
milk is for gypsum, white lead, sulphur, quicksilver, 
and constipation iii fever. It also makes a very 
useful gargle for ulcerated throats, is drank by con- 
valescents from weakening illness, said to be " in a 
decline,"^ and also for fever which is without head- 
ache. To give to children before food a hemina of 
ass's milk, or failing that of goat's milk, and if the 
rectum smarted at stool, the ancients held to be one 
of their secrets. Better for orthopnoea than other 
remedies is whey of cow's milk with the addition of 
cress. The eyes also are bathed for ophthalmia with 
a hemina of milk to which have been added four 
drachmae of pounded sesame. Splenic diseases are 
cured by drinking goat's milk for three days without 

suppose that five doses were to be taken in all, each on a fixed 
day, to be folknved by a ride or drive. Cf. statas febres § 107. 

6 This cum is perhaps an interpolation (dittographv), but 
cf. § 124. 

c See note on § 160. d Or: "undernourished."' 

91 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

per triduum poto sine alio cibo. lactis usus alias 
contrarius capitis doloribus, hepaticis, splenicis, ner- 
vorum vitio, febres habentibus, vertigini, praeter- 
quam purgationis gratia, gravedini, tussientibus, 
lippis. ovillum 1 utilissimum tenesmo, dysinteriae nec 
non phthisicis. hoc et mulieribus 2 saluberrimum qui 
dicerent fuerunt. 

131 XXXIV. De generibus caseorum diximus, cum de 
uberibus singulisque membris animalium diceremus. 
Sextius eosdem effectus equino quos bubulo tradit. 
hunc vocant hippacen. stomacho utiles qui non sunt 
salsi, id est recentes. veteres alvum sistunt corp- 
usque minuunt, stomacho inutiliores 3 ; et in totum 

132 salsa minuunt corpus, alunt mollia. caseus recens 
cum melle suggillata emendat, mollis alvum sistit, 
sedat tormina pastillis in vino austero decoctis rur- 
susque in patina tostis cum melle. saprum vocant 
qui cum sale et sorbis siccis e vino tritus potusque 
medetur coeliacis, genitalium carbunculis caprinus 
tritus inpositus. item acidus cum oxymelite maculis 
in balineo inlitus oleo interlinitur. 

133 XXXV. E lacte fit et butyrum, barbararum gen- 
tium lautissimus cibus et qui divites a plebe dis- 
cernat, plurimum e bubulo, et inde nomen, pinguissi- 

1 ovillum Hard., Mayhoff, ex Dioscoride : suillum codd., 
Detlefsen. 

2 mulieribus dTx, Detlefsen : mulieres VRf : mulieris May- 
hoff, qui etiam post dysinteriae dist. 

3 inutiliores Urlichs, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : utiliores codd. 



a With MayhofFs reading and punctuation : " this and 
woman's milk are the most wholesome for consumptives." 
» Book XI. § 240. 
c See note on § 120. 

92 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxiii. 130-xxxv. 133 

any other food, but the goats must fast for two days 
and then browse on ivy the third day. Drinking 
milk is generally bad for headache, complaints of the 
liver, spleen and sinews, for fevers, for giddiness 
except as a purge, and for a heavy cold, cough, 
and ophthalmia. Sheep's milk is very beneficial for 
tenesmus, dysentery, and consumption ; there have 
been some who said that this milk is also the most 
wholesome for women. a 

XXXIV. The kinds of cheese I discussed when 
speaking of udders and the separate parts of animals. b 
Sextius c gives to eow's-milk cheese the same proper- 
ties as he gives to that from mare's milk, which is 
called hippace. d Beneficial to the stomach are those 
not salted, that is to say the fresh. Old cheeses bind 
the bowels and reduce flesh, being rather bad for the 
stomach ; on the whole salty foods reduce flesh, soft 
foods make it. Fresh cheese with honey heals 
bruises, a soft cheese binds the bowels, and relieves 
gripes if lozenges of it are boiled in a dry wine and 
then roasted in a pan with honey. Coeliac affections 
are cured by the cheese that they call saprum, e taken 
in drink after being pounded in wine with salt and 
dried sorb apples ; carbuncles of the genitals by an 
application of pounded goat's-milk cheese. Sour 
cheese also with oxymel is applied in the bath alter- 
nately with oil to remove spots. 

XXXV. From milk is also made butter, among Butter. 
barbarian tribes accounted the choicest food, one 
that distinguishes the rich from the lower orders. 
Mostly cow's milk is used (hence the name-Q, but 

d See note on XXV. § 83. f 
e That is, " rotten " {aa-npov). 
S The word means " cow cheese." 

93 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mum ex ovillo x — fit et ex caprino — sed hieme cale- 
facto lacte, aestate expresso tantum crebro iactatu 
in longis vasis, angusto foramine spiritum accipienti- 
bus sub 2 ipso ore alias praeligato. additur paululum 

134 aquae ut acescat. quod est maxime coactum in 
summo fluitat, id exemptum addito sale oxygala 
appellant. relicum decocunt in ollis. ibi quod 
supernatat butyrum est oleosum natura. quo magis 
virus resipit hoc praestantius iudicatur. pluribus 
conpositionibus miscetur inveteratum. natura eius 
adstringere, mollire, replere, purgare. 

135 XXXVI. Oxygala fit et alio modo, acido lacte 
addito in recens quod velis 3 inacescere, utilissimum 
stomacho. effectus dicemus suis locis. 

XXXVII. Proxima in communibus adipi laus est, 
sed maxime suillo, apud antiquos etiam religiosius. 
certe novae nuptae intrantes etiamnum 4 sollemne 
habent postes eo attingere. inveteratur duobus 

136 modis, cum sale aut sincerus, tanto fit utilior. 5 axun- 
giam Graeci etiam appellavere eam in voluminibus 
suis. neque est occulta virium causa, quoniam id 
animal herbarum radicibus vescitur — itaque etiam 

1 ovillo coni. Mayhoff : ovibus codd. 

2 sub omittere velit Mayhoff. 

3 velis Detlefsen : velint Mayhoff : inm VR : in dx : 
ve - - - r : dum (acescit) vulg. Mayhoff nonnulla verba, ut 
quodve aliud cogat, excidisse putat. 

4 etiamnum codd. : etiam nunc Mayhoff. 

5 tanto fit utilior Mayhoff : tanto utilior quanto sit vetu- 
stior Detlefsen. Pro utifior multi codd. vetustior (vectior R), 
pro fit (dx) sit VR. 



a It has been suggested that for aqua we should read aceto 
(vinegar). 

b If we omit all from exemptum to supernatat, the ancient 
method of making butter is much like the modern, but then 

94 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxv. 133-xxxvn. 136 

the richest comes from sheep's — it is also made from 
goat's — but in winter the milk is warmed, while in 
summer the butter is extracted merely by shaking it 
rapidly in a tall vessel. This has a small hole to 
admit the air, made just under the mouth, which is 
otherwise completely stopped. There is added a 
little water a to make the milk turn sour. The part 
that curdles most, floating on the top, [is skimmed 
off, and with salt added is called oxygala ; the rest 
they boil down in pots. What comes to the surface 6 ] 
is butter, a fatty substance. The stronger the taste, 
the more highly is butter esteemed. When matured 
it is used as an ingredient for several mixtures. It is 
bv nature astringent, emollient, flesh-forming, and 
cleansing. 

XXXVI. Oxygala is made in yet another way, by Oxygiia. 
adding sour milk to the fresh that it is wished to turn 
sour. It is very good for the stomach ; of its proper- 

ties I shall speak in the appropriate places. 

XXXVII. Of remedies common to animals the Fais, 
next in repute is fat, especially pig's fat, which to the ofpigs. 
men of old was not a little sacred. At any rate 
brides even today touch ritually the door-posts with 

it on entering their homes. Lard is matured in two 
ways, with salt or by itself ; it is so much the more 
beneficial when matured. The name axungia (axle- 
grease) is the one adopted by the Greeks also in 
their writings. Xor is the cause of its properties 
a mystery, for the pig feeds on the roots of plants, 
so that there are very many uses even for its dung. 

oxygala disappears, which is required because of Ch. XXXVI, 
and the interpolation needs to be explained. It is perhaps 
safer with J. Miiller to regard addito . . . relicum as a 
parenthesis. 

95 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fimo innumeri usus — quamobrem non de alia loque- 
mur quam e sue. 1 multo efficacior e femina est quae 
non peperit, [multo vero praestantior in apris.] 2 est 
igitur usus axungiae ad emollienda, excalfacienda, 

137 discutienda purgandaque. medicorum aliqui ad- 
mixto anseris adipe taurorumque sebo et oesypo ad 
podagras uti iubent, si vero permanet dolor, cum cera, 
myrto, resina, pice. sincera axungia medetur 
ambustis vel nive, pernionibus autem cum hordci 
cinere et galla pari modo. prodest et confricatis 
membris, itinerumque lassitudines et fatigationes 
levat. ad tussim veterem recens decoquitur quad- 
rantis pondere in vini cyathis tribus addito melle. 

138 vetus etiam phthisis pilulis sumpta sanat quae sine 
sale inveterata est. omnino enim non nisi ad ea quae 
purganda sint aut quae non sint exulcerata salsa reci- 
pitur. quidam quadrantes axungiae et mulsi 3 in 
vini cyathis ternis decocunt contra phthisis, quarto 
quoque die picem liquidam in ovo sumi iubent, cir- 
cumligatur et lateribus pectoribus scapulis eorum qui 
phthisim sentiunt, tantaque est vis ut genibus etiam 
adalligata redeat in os sapor eamque expuere 

1 quam e sue Urlichs, Detlefsen : sue codd. : uncos ponit 
Mayhojf. 

2 Uncos ego posui. In textu esse dicitur Mayhoff, qui etiam 
intellegitur coni. : est igitur codd. 

3 mulsi vulg., Detlefsen, Mayhoff; multis codd. 

° The emendation of Urlichs seems to be the best solution 
of the difficulty presented by the MS. reading. 

6 If we bracket, as being a scribe's or commentator's note, 
from multo to apris, there is no need further to emend this 
sentence. 

9 6 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxvn. 136-138 

Therefore I shall not speak of other grease than that 
of the pig. a By far the more beneficial is that from a 
sow that has not littered, [but much more excellent 
is that of boars. b J Axle-grease then is used for 
softening, warming, dispersing, and cleansing. Cer- 
tain medical men recommend for gout a mixture of it 
with goose grease, bull suet and suint ; if however 
the pain should persist, they add wax, myrtle berries, 
resin, and pitch. Unsalted axle-grease is good for 
burns or frost-bite ; for chilblains add equal measures 
of barley-ash and gall nuts. It is also beneficial for 
chafed limbs, and relieves weariness and fatigue from 
a journey. Fresh axle-grease, three ounces in three 
cyathi of wine with honey added, is boiled down for 
chronic cough. Old grease taken in pills cures even 
consumption, but it must have matured without salt. 
for salt grease is not recommended at all except where 
cleansing is required and where there is no ulceration. 
Some boil down three ounces of axle-grease and 
of honey wine in three cyathi of wine to treat con- 
sumption, recommending that 011 every fourth day 
liquid pitch should be taken in egg. Poultices of it 
are applied to the sides, chest, and shoulders of con- 
sumptive patients, and so great is its power that even 
when fastened to the knees as an amulet the taste 
comes back c to the mouth and they seem to be spit- 
ting it out. Fat from a sow that has not littered is used 
with very great advantage by women as a cosmetic, 
but for itch any kind d is good, mixed with a third part 

e In the context redeat is strange. May it mean : " comes 
to its natural place " ? 

d With quivis understand adeps and a verb like medetur. 
So Littre : " toute espece de graisse est bonne." Perhaps, 
however, it is " anybody (and not women only) can use." 

97 

VOL. VIII. E 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

139 videantur. e sue quae non peperit aptissime utuntur 
ad cutem mulieres, contra scabiem vero quivis ad- 
mixto iumentorum sebo pro parte tertia et pice, pari- 
terque subfervefactis. sincera partus in abortum 
vergentes nutriunt collyrii niodo subdita. cicatrices 
concolores facit cerussa admixta vel argenti spuma, at 
cum sulpure unguiuni scabritias emendat. medetur et 
capillis rluentibus et ulceribus in capite mulierum cum 
gallae parte quarta et infumata pilis oculorum. 
datur et phthisicis unciatim cum vini veteris hemina 
decocta donec tres unciae e toto restent, aliqui et 

140 mellis exiguum adiciunt. panis inlinitur cum calce, 
item furunculis duritiaeque mammarum. rupta et 
convulsa et spasmata et luxata sanat, clavos et rimas 
callique vitia cum helleboro albo, parotidas admixta 
farina salsamentariae testae, quo genere proficit et ad 
strumas. pruritus et papulas in balineo perunctis 
tollit, alioque etiamnum modo podagricis prodest 
mixto oleo vetere, contrito una sarcophago lapide et 
quinquefolio tuso in vino vel cum calce vel cum cinere. 
facit et peculiare emplastrum lxxvX ponderi centum 
spumae argenteae mixtis, utilissimum contra ul- 
cerum inflammationes. 1 adipe verrino et inungui 
putant utile, quaeque serpant inlinere cum resina. 

141 antiqui axibus vehiculorum perunguendis maxime ad 
faciliorem circumactum rotarum utebantur, unde 
nomen, sic quoque utili medicina cum illa ferrugine 

142 rotarum ad sedis vitia virilitatisque. [et per se 
axungia] 2 medici antiqui maxime probabant renibus 

1 Hoc punctum post verrino ponit Mayhoff. 

2 Ego uncos posui ex Mayhoffii coniectura. 

■ spasmata may be a gloss, for Pliny renders the Greek 
andafjiaTa by convulsa. 

9 s 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxvii. 138-142 

of beef suet and pitch, all being warmed together. 
Unsalted axle-grease used as a pessary nourishes the 
foetus when there is the threat of a miscarriage. 
Mixed with white lead or litharge lard gives to scars 
the colour of the surrounding skin, and with sulphur 
cleans scabrous nails. It cures too the falling-out of 
hair, and with a quarter of a gall nut sores on the 
head of women ; as a fumigant it is good for eye- 
lashes. It is also given to consumptives, in doses of 
one ounce with a hemina of old wine boiled down 
until of the whole three ounces remain ; some add also 
a little honey. With lime it is applied to superficial 
abscesses, also to boils and to indurations of the 
breasts. It cures ruptures, sprains, cramps, and 
dislocations ; with white hellebore corns, chaps, and 
callosities ; and parotid swellings with pounded 
earthenware that has contained salted food, the same 
being also good for scrofulous sores. Rubbing in the 
bath with this fat removes irritation and pimples, and 
administered in yet another way it is good for gout : 
mixed with old oil, crushed sarcophagus b stone, and 
cinquefoil pounded in wine, or with lime, or with ash. 
A special plaster too is made of 75 denarii by weight 
of lard mixed with 100 of litharge, very useful for in- 
flamed ulcers. They also think it useful to treat such 
sores with boar's grease, and to app]y it with 
resin to those that spread. The men of old used 
lard in particular for greasing the axles of their 
vehicles, that the wheels might revolve more easily, 
and in this way it received its name. So also with 
that rust of the wheels it made a useful medicament 
for aifections of the anus and of the male genitals. 
The old physicians valued most the fat taken from 

* See II. § 211 and XXXVI. § 161. 

99 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

detractam exemptisque venis aqua caelesti fricabant 
crebro decoquebantque fictili novo saepius, tum de- 
mum adservantes. convenit salsam magis mollire, 
excalfacere, discutere, utilioremque esse vino lotam. 
Masurius palmam lupino adipi dedisse antiquos tra- 
didit. ideo novas nuptas illo perunguere postes 
solitas ne quid mali medicamenti inferretur. 

143 XXXVIII. Quae ratio adipis eadem in his quae 
ruminant sebi est, aliis modis, non minoris potentiae. 
perficitur omne exemptis venis aqua marina vel salsa 
lotum, mox in pila tusum aspersa marina crebro. 
postea coquitur donec odor omnis aboleatur, mox 
adsiduo sole ad candorem reducitur. a renibus autem 

144 omne laudatissimum est. si vero vetus revocetur ad 
curam, liquefieri prius iubent, mox frigida aqua 
lavari saepius, dein Hquefacere adfuso vino quam 
odoratissimo. eodemque modo iterum ac saepius 
cocunt donec virus evanescat. multi privatim sic 
taurorum leonumque ac pantherarum et camelorum 
pinguia curari iubent. usus dicetur suis locis. 

145 XXXIX. Communis et meduilarum est. omnes 
molliunt, explent, siccant, excalfaciunt. lauda- 
tissima e cervis, mox vitulina, dein hircina et caprina. 
curantur ante autumnum recentes lotae siccataeque 



a The last sentence is added as an afterthought ; it differs 
from a similar remark in § 135. Masurius was apparently a 
jurist who lived in the reign of Tiberius and later. 

6 Or, "The most highly valued suet is alwavs that from 
the kidnevs." 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxvii. 142-xxxix. 145 

the kidneys : removing the veins they rubbed it 
brisklv with rain water, boiled it down several times 
in new earthenware, and then finallv stored it away. 
It is agreed that when salted it has increased power 
of softening, warming, and dispersing, and that it is 
more useful when washed with wine. Masurius tells 
us that the men of old gave the palm to wolf 's fat ; 
that, he said, was why new brides were wont to 
smear with it the door-posts to keep out all evil 
drugs.° 

XXXVIII. Corresponding to fat in other animals suet. 
is suet in ruminants ; used in other ways it is of no 
less potency. All suet is prepared by taking out 
the veins, washing in sea-water or salt water, and 
then pounding in a mortar with frequent sprinklings 

of sea-water. Afterwards it is boiled until all smell 
disappears, and then by continual exposure to the 
sun it is bleached to a shining white. All suet from 
the kidneys is highly valued. 5 But if stale suet is 
being put to use, it is recommended first to melt 
it, then wash it several times in cold water, and 
then to melt it after pouring on it wine with the most 
fragrant bouquet. They boil it in the same way 
again and again, until all the rankness disappears. 
Many recommend that in this way should be pre- 
pared the fat in particular of bulls, lions, panthers, 
and camels. Their use will be given in the appro- 
priate places. 

XXXIX. The various marrows too are all in use. Marrow. 
All marrow is emollient, filling, drying, and warming. 

The most highly valued is that of deer, next of calves, 
and then of goats, male and female. Marrow is pre- 
pared before autumn ; it should be fresh, washed, 
dried in the shade, then passed melted through a 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in umbra, per cribrum dein liquatae per lintea expri 
muntur ac reponuntur in fictili locis frigidis. 

146 XL. Inter omnia autem communia animalium vel 
praestantissimum effectu fel est. vis eius excal- 
facere, mordere, scindere, extrahere, discutere. 
minorum animalium subtilius intellegitur et ideo ad 
oculorum medicamenta utilius existimatur. taurino 
praecipua potentia etiam in aere pelvibusque aureo 
colore obducendis. omne autem curatur recens 
praeligato ore lino crasso, demissum in ferventem 
aquam semihora, mox siccatum sine sole atque in 
melle conditum. damnatur equinum tantum inter 
venena. ideo rlamini sacrorum equum tangere non 
licet, cum Romae publicis sacris equus etiam im- 
moletur. 

147 XLI. Quin et sanguis eorum 1 septicam vim habet, 
item equarum, praeterquam virginum; erodit, emar- 
ginat ulcera. taurinus quidem recens inter venena 
est excepta Aegira. ibi enim sacerdos Terrae vati- 
cinatura sanguinem tauri bibit prius quam in specus 
descendat. tantum potest sympathia illa de qua 
loquimur, ut aliquando religione aut loco fiat. 

148 Drusus tribunus plebei traditur caprinum bibisse, 
cum pallore et invidia veneni sibi dati insimulare Q. 
Caepionem inimicum vellet. hircorum sanguini tanta 
vis est ut ferramentorum subtilitas non aliter acrius 

1 eorum codd. : equorum Warmington. 

a A town in Achaia. 

b See XXIV. §§ 1-3, XXIX. § 61, and Additional Note, 
p. 564. See the same note for the view that bull's blood is 
poison. 

e Tribune of the people in 91 b.c, and murdered the same 
year. He was a supporter of the Italians in their claim to 
Roman citizenship. 
102 



BOOK XXVIII. xxxix. 145-xLi. 148 

sieve, strained through a linen cloth, and then stored 
away in an earthenware vessel in a cool place. 

XL. But of all the parts common to animals gall GaU. 
is by far the most efficacious. Its nature is warming, 
pungent, dissolvent, extractive, and dispersive. 
That of the smaller animals is understood to be more 
delicate, and so is thought to be more useful 
for eye medicaments. BulTs gall is particularlv 
potent, staining even bronze and basins with a golden 
colour. All gall is prepared when fresh by tying 
with stout thread the mouth of the gall bladder, 
steeping it for half an hour in boiling water, then 
drving it out of the sun, and storing awav in honey. 
That of horses alone is condemned as a poison. 
Therefore the sacrincial flamen is not allowed to 
touch a horse, although at the public sacriflces at 
Rome a horse is even oifered as a victim. 

XLI. Moreover the blood of horses has a corrosive Blom 
power ; the blood of mares also, except that of virgin 
animals. It cleans out ulcers and eats away their 
lips. Fresh bull's blood indeed is reckoned one of the 
poisons, except at Aegira. a For there the priestess 
of Earth, when about to prophesy, drinks bull's blood 
before she goes down into the caves. So strong is 
that famous sympathy b I speak of that it sometimes 
becomes active under the influence of religious awe 
or of a place. Drusus, c tribune of the people, is 
reported to have drunk goat's blood because he 
wished, by his pallor, to accuse his enemy Q. Caepio 
of having poisoned him, and so to arouse hatred 
against him. d So great is the power of he-goats' blood 
that iron tools cannot in any other way be hardened 

d Or, " to arouse hatred against his enemy Q. Caepio, his 
pallor suggesting that he had been poisoned by him." 

103 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

induretur, scabritia tollatur vehementius quam lima. 
non igitur et sanguis animalium inter communia dici 
potest et ideo suis quisque dicetur effectibus. 

149 XLII. Digeremus enim in mala singula usus pluri- 
mumque x contra serpentes. exitio his esse cervos 
nemo ignorat ut, si quae sunt, 2 extractas cavernis 
mandentes. nec vero ipsi spirantesque tantum ad- 
versantur, sed membratim quoque. fugari eas nidore 
cornus eorum, si uratur, dictum est, at e summo gut- 
ture ustis ossibus congregari dicuntur. pelles eius- 
dem animalis substratae securos praestant ab eo metu 

150 somnos, coagulum ex aceto potum ab ictu, et si 
omnino tractatum sit, eo die non ferit serpens. testes 
quoque eius inveterati vel genitale vetus 3 maris 
salutariter dantur in vino, item venter quem centi- 
pellionem vocant. fugiunt et omnino dentem cervi 
habentes aut medulla perunctos sebove cervi aut 
vituli. summis autem remediis praefertur hinnulei 
coagulum matris utero execti, ut indicavimus. 

151 sanguine cervino, si una urantur dracontion et cuni- 
lago et anchusa lentisci ligno, contrahi serpentes 
tradunt, dissipari deinde, si sanguine detracto adi- 
ciatur pyrethrum. invenio apud auctores Graecos 
animal cervo minus et pilo demum simile, quod 

1 plurimumque codd. : primumque Pintianus, Sillig, 
Mayhojj. 

2 ut, si quae sunt codd. : utique spiritu Pintianus : vesti- 
gantes et coni. Mayhoff: ut pi credimus Warmington. 

3 vetus /. Miiller, Mayhojf : eius codd. : del. Detlefsen. 



a See VIII. § 118. 

b The centipellio is the second stomach of iuminating 
animals. 

• See VIII. §118. 

104 



BOOK XXVIII. xli. 148 xlii. 151 

to a finer edge, and roughness is smoothed more 
thoroughly by it than by a file. Accordingly blood 
cannot be included among the remedies common to 
animals, and so each kind of blood will be discussed 
according to its effects. 

XLII. For I shall arrange remedies according to Remedies 
each malady, serpents' bites requiring very full {7te 5 . na 
treatment. Nobody is unaware that deer are their 
deadly enemies, in that they drag any they may 
find from their holes and eat them. Xot only, how- 
ever, when whole and alive are they the enemy of 
serpents ; the parts of their body are so also. The 
fumes from their horns when burnt, as I have said,° 
keep serpents away ; but if the topmost bones of a 
stag's neck have been burnt, serpents are said to 
assemble. The skins of the same animal make a bed 
on which one may sleep without fear of snakes, and 
the rennet taken in vinegar prevents being bitten ; 
if it is merely handled, in fact, on that day no serpent 
strikes. A stag's testicles dried, or the dried male 
organ, are in wine a salutary drink ; so is that 
stomach which is called ce?itipellio. b Serpents keep 
away from those who have about them merely a 
stag's tooth, or have been rubbed with the marrow or 
suet of stag or fawn. As I have already pointed out, c 
to sovereign remedies is preferred the rennet of a 
young stag cut from his mother's uterus. Stag's 
blood, if with it are burnt on a lentisk-wood 
fire dracontion, cunilago and anchusa, is said to 
collect serpents together ; then they scatter, it is 
said, if in place of blood pyrethrum is added. In mv 
Greek authorities I find mentioned an animal that 
they call ophion,^ smaller than a stag and like it only 

* See XXX. § 146. 

I0 5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ophion vocaretur, Sardiniam tantum ferre solitam. 
hoc interisse arbitror et ideo medicinas ex eo omitto. 

152 Apri quoque cerebrum contra eas laudatur cum 
sanguine, iocur etiam inveteratum cum ruta potum 
ex vino, item adips cum melle resinaque, simili modo 
verrinum iocur et fellis dumtaxat fibra X mi pondere 
vel cerebrum in vino potum. caprarum cornu vel 
pilis accensis fugari serpentes dicunt, cineremque ex 
cornu potum vel inlitum contra ictus valere, item 
lactis haustus cum uva taminia vel urinae cum aceto 
scillite, caseum caprinum cum origano inpositum vel 
sebum cum cera. milia praeterea remediorum ex eo 

153 animali demonstrantur, sicut apparebit, quod equi- 
dem miror, cum febri negetur carere. amplior 
potentia feris eiusdem generis, quod numerosissimum 
esse diximus, alia vero et hircis. Democritus etiam- 
num effectus auget eius qui singularis natus sit. fimo 
quoque caprarum in aceto decocto inlini ictus ser- 
pentium placet et recentis cinere in vino, atque in 
totum difficilius sese recolligentes a serpentium ictu in 

154 caprilibus optime convalescunt. qui efficacius volunt 
mederi occisae caprae alvum dissectam cum fimo intus 
reperto inligant statim. alii carnem recentem hae- 
dorum cum * pilo suffiunt eodemque nidore fugant 
serpentes. utuntur et pelle eorum recente ad 2 

1 cum add. C. F. W. MulUr. 

2 Ante ad comma transponit Mayhoff. 



° This seems like a vague and inaccurate reference to the 
goat as the cause of Malta fever. 
6 See VIII. 214. 

106 



BOOK XXVIII. xlii. 151-154 

in its hair, which is found nowhere save in Sardinia. 
I believe that it is extinct today, and therefore I give 
no remedies from it. The brain and blood of a wild 
boar is another approved protection against serpents, 
as is its liver preserved and taken in wine with rue, 
likewise the fat with honey and resin, and given in 
the same way boar's liver and the fibre only of the 
gall-bladder, the dose being four denarii by weight, 
or the brain taken in wine. The horn or hair of she- 
goats, when burnt, is said to keep serpents away, and 
the ash from the horn, w T hether taken in drink or 
applied, to be efficacious for their bites ; as are also 
draughts of their milk with taminian grapes, or of 
their urine with squill vinegar ; so too an application 
of goat cheese with marjoram, or of goat suet with 
wax. Thousands of remedies besides from the goat 
are given in prescriptions, as will be pointed out ; 
this is surprising to me, because it is said never to be 
free from fever. a The potency of the wild-goat — 
goats are a very numerous species, as I have said b — is 
greater, but a he-goat too has a potency of its own. 
Democritus also holds that if a goat is the only one 
at a birth he supplies more efficacious remedies. An 
application also of she-goat's dung boiled down in 
vinegar is approved treatment for snake bite, and so 
is the ash of fresh dung boiled down in wine ; speaking 
generally, slow convalescents from snake bite recover 
best in a goat's stable. Those who want more 
efficacious treatment apply immediately as a plaster 
a slaughtered she-goat's belly cut open, including 
any dung found inside. Others fumigate with fresh 
kid-meat, not taking away the hair, and with the 
same fumes drive snakes away. They also use a 
fresh kid-skin for the wound, or the flesh and dung 

107 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

plagas, et carne et fimo equi in agro pasti, coagulo 
leporis ex aceto, contraque scorpionem et murem 
araneum. aiunt non feriri leporis coagulo perunctos. 

155 a scorpione pcrcussis fimum caprae efficacius cum 
aceto decoctum auxiliatur, lardum iusque decocti 
potum et his qui buprestim hauserint. quin etiam si 
quis asino in aurem percussum a scorpione se dicat, 
transire malum protinus tradunt, venenataque omnia 
accenso pulmone eius fugere. et fimo vituli suffiri 
percussos a scorpione prodest. 

156 XLIII. Canis rabiosi morsu facta volnera circum- 
cidunt ad vivas usque partes quidam carnemque 
vituli admovent — et ius ex eodem carnis decoctae 
dant potui x — aut axungiam cum calce tusam, hirci 
iocur, quo inposito ne temptari quidem aquae metu 
adfirmant. laudant et caprae fimum ex vino in- 
litum, melis et cuculi et hirundinis decoctum et 
potum. ad reliquos bestiarum morsus caprinum 
caseum siccum cum origano inponunt et bibi iubent, 
ad hominis morsus carnem bubulam coctam, efficacius 
vituli, si non ante quintum diem solvant. 

157 XLIV. Veneficiis rostrum lupi resistere invetera- 
tum aiunt ob idque villarum portis praefigunt. hoc 
idem praestare et pellis e cervice solida manica existi- 
matur, quippe tanta vis est animalis praeter ea quae 
retulimus ut vestigia eius calcata equis adferant 
torporem. 

1 Parenthesim ego indicavi. 

a It eases the construction to take from et ius to potui as a 
parenthesis, a common feature of Pliny's style. 

108 



BOOK XXVIII. xlii. 154-xLiv. 157 

of a horse fed by pasture and the rennet of a hare in 
vinegar ; the same for scorpions and the shrew-mouse. 
It is said that rubbing with hare's rennet protects 
from being stung or bitten. Those stung bv a 
scorpion are helped by she-goat's dung, more emcaci- 
ouslv if it is boiled down in vinegar ; the fat and broth 
of the decoction, if drunk, helps those too who have 
swallowed a buprestis. Moreover, if anyone says in 
the ear of an ass that he has been stung by a scorpion, 
the mischief, it is said, at once passes over into the 
animal, all venomous creatures run away from an 
ass's burning lung, and those stung by a scorpion 
are benefited by fumigation with the dung of a 
ealf. 

XLIII. Wounds made by the bite of a mad dog Remedies 
some cut round into the quick and apptv veal, forbitesof 

, ^- rr j ' ma d dogs. 

giving to drink veal broth,° or else axle-grease 
pounded with lime, or he-goat's liver, an application 
of which is said to keep off entirely the dread of water. 
Approved treatment is also she-goat's dung applied 
in w r ine, and to drink a decoction of the dung of 
badger, cuckoo and swallow. For the other beast-bites 
dried goat's cheese with marjoram is applied and re- 
commended to be taken in drink ; to human bites 
is applied boiled beef, boiled veal being more 
efficacious, if it is not taken off before the fifth day. 

XLIV. Sorceries are said to be counteracted by a sorcenes. 
wolfs preserved muzzle, and for this reason they 
hang one up on the gates of country houses. The 
same effect is supposed to be given by the whole fur 
from a wolf 's neck, the legs included, for so great is 
the power of the animal that, besides what I have 
already stated, his footprints when trodden on by 
horses make them torpid. 

109 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

158 XLV. Iis qui argentum vivuui biberint lardum 
remedio est. asinino lacte poto venena restinguntur, 
peculiariter si hyoscyamum potum sit aut viscum aut 
cicuta aut lepus marinus aut opocarpatum aut phari- 
cum x aut dorycnium et si coagulum alicui nocuerit, 
nam id quoque venenum est in prima lactis coagula- 
tione. multos et alios usus eius dicemus, sed memi- 
nisse oportebit recenti utendum aut non multo postea 
tepefacto, nullum enim celerius evanescit. ossa quo- 
que asini confracta et decocta contra leporis marini 
venenum dantur. omnia eadem onagris efficaciora. 

159 de equiferis non scripserunt Graeci, quoniam terrae 
illae non gignebant, verum tamen fortiora omnia 
eadem quam in equis intellegi debent. lacte equino 
venena leporis marini et toxica expugnantur. nec 
uros aut bisontes habuerunt Graeci in experimentis, 
quamquam bove fero refertis Indiae silvis, portione 
tamen eadem efficaciora omnia ex his credi par est. 

160 sic quoque lacte bubulo cuncta venena expugnari 
tradunt, maxime supra dicta et si ephemerum inpac- 
tum sit aut si cantharides datae, omnia vomitione 
egeri, sic et caprino iure cantharidas. contra ea vero 
quae exulceratione enecant sebum vitulinum vel 
bubulum auxiliatur. nam contra sanguisugas potas 
butyrum remedio est cum aceto ferro calefacto, quod 
et per se prodest contra venena. nam si oleum non 

1 pharicum Hermolaus Barbarus ; cf. Scribonius Largus 
CXCV: agaricum Detlefsen: cerussa Mayhoff: carice V: 
tarice R: caryced. 

a Unknown. 

6 See Scribonius Largus CXCV. 

« Ephemerum was used in a mouth-wash, and so very 
liable to be swallowed by accident. The word inpaclum is 
curious, and probably corrupt, but the sense is clear. 

no 



BOOK XXVIII. xlv. 158-160 

XLV. Those who have swallowed quicksilver find Remedies 
a remedy in lard. By drinking ass's milk poisons are f° r "P 0lS0ns - 
neutralized, especially if henbane has been swallowed, 
or mistletoe, hemlock, sea-hare, opocarpathum," 
pharicum, 6 dorycnium, or if milk has done harm by 
curdling, for there is poison in the first coagulation 
of it. I shall give many other uses of ass's milk, but 
it should be remembered to use it when fresh, or 
nearly fresh and warmed, for no milk loses its power 
more rapidly. The bones too of the ass, crushed and 
boiled, are given for the poison of the sea-hare. AU 
these remedies are more efficacious from the wild 
ass. About wild horses the Greeks have not w r ritten, 
because Greek lands did not breed them, but it must 
be inferred that all remedies from them are more 
potent than from the tame animal. By mare's milk 
are neutralized the poison of the sea-hare and arrow 
poisons. The Greeks had not the urus or the bison 
to try out, although the Indian jungles swarm with 
wild cattle. All the same remedies from them, 
however, it is reasonable to believe, are proportion- 
ally more efficacious. So cow's milk too is said to 
neutralize all poisons, especially those mentioned 
before, and if ephemerum has gone down the throat c 
or Spanish fly d administered, and to expel by vomiting 
all the noxious substances ; goat broth also to act in the 
same w r ay on Spanish fly. Those poisons however 
that cause fatal ulceration are relieved by veal-suet 
or beef-suet. But for leeches swallowed in drink 
butter, with vinegar warmed by hot iron, is a remedy, 
butter even by itself being beneficial against poison- 
ing, for if one has no oil butter is a good substitute. 

d For an interesting account of Spanish fly, really a kind 
of beetle, see W. T. Fernie, Animal Simples, pp. 176-180. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

161 sit. vicem eius repraesentat. multipedae morsus cum 

melle sanat. omasi quoque iure poto venena supra 
dicta expugnari putant, privatim vero aconita et cicu- 
tas, itemque vitulino sebo. caprinus caseus recens 
his qui viscum biberint, lac contra cantharidas 
remedio est et contra ephemeri potum cum taminia 
uva. sanguis caprinus decoctus cum medulla contra 
toxiea venena sumitur, haedinus contra reliqua, 

162 coagulum haedi contra viscum et chamaeleonem 
album sanguinemque taurinum, contra quem et 
leporis coagulum est ex aceto, contra pastinacam vero 
et omnium marinorum ictus vel morsus coagulum 
leporis vel haedi vel agni drachmae pondere ex vino. 
leporis coagulum et contra venena additur antidotis. 
papilio quoque lucernarum luminibus advolans inter 
mala medicamenta numeratur. huic contrarium est 
iocur caprinum, sicut fel veneficis ex mustella rustica 
factis. hinc deinde praevertemur ad genera mor- 
borum. 

163 XLYI. Capilli deHuvia ursinus adips admixto 
ladano et adianto continet alopeciasque emendat et 
raritatem superciliorum cum fungis lucernarum ac 
fuligine quae est in rostris earum, porriginem cum 
vino. prodest ad hanc et cornus cervini cinis e vino, 
utque non taedia animalium capillis increscant, item 
fel caprinum cum creta Cimolia et aceto sic uti paulum 
capiti inarescant, item fel scrofinum, urina tauri. si 
vero vetus sit, furfures etiam adiecto sulpure emen- 

164 dat. cinere genitalis asini spissari capillum putant et 
a canitie vindicari, si rasis inlinatur plumboque tritus 

See Book XXVI. § 47, and for the plants mentioned in 
thi.s section of Pliny the Index of Plants in vol. VII. 

112 



BOOK XXVIII. xlv. i6o-xlvi. 164 

It and honey together cure tlie bites of millipedes. 
Tripe broth and also veal suet are thought to neutral- 
ize the poisons mentioned above, especially hovvever 
aconite and hemlock. Fresh goat-cheese is a remedy 
for those who have taken mistletoe in drink, as is 
goat's milk for Spanish fly, and with Taminian grapes 
for swallowing ephemerum. Goat's blood boiled 
with the marrow is taken for arrow poison, kid's for 
the other poisons, kid's rennet for mistletoe, white 
chamaeleon and bull's blood, for which another 
remedy is hare's rennet in vinegar ; for the sting-ray 
however, andfor the stings or bites of all sea creatures, 
hare's rennet or that of a kid or lamb, the dose being 
a drachma by weight in wine. Hare's rennet is also 
an ingredient of antidotes against poisons. The 
moth too that flutters to the lamp-light is counted 
among noxious drugs ; an antidote is goat's liver, as 
is its gall for sorcerer's potions made from the field 
weasel. At this point I shall return to the various 
kinds of diseases. 

XLVI. Bear's grease mixed with ladanum ° and 
adiantum prevents the hair from falling out, and 
cures mange, and scanty eyebrows, if mixed with the 
lamp-black from lamp wicks and the soot that 
collects in their nozzles. Mixed with wine it cures 
dandruff. Good too for the last is the ash of deer's 
horn in wine, good also to prevent vermin from 
breeding in the hair, likewise goat's gall with 
Cimolian chalk and vinegar, the mixture being allowed 
to dry a little on the head ; sow's gall too, and the urine 
of a bull. If indeed it should be old, with the addition For com- 
of sulphur it also cures dandruff. It is thought that ^aintsofthe 

•*■ " SCQ.lT} €tC 

a thicker growth of hair and prevention of greyness 
are given by an ass's genital organ reduced to ash ; 

113 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cum oleo, densari et asinini pulli illitum * urina ; ad- 
miscent nardum fastidii gratia. alopecias felle 
taurino cum Aegyptio alumine tepefactis inlinunt. 
ulcera capitis manantia urina tauri efficaciter sanat, 
item hominis vetus, si cyclaminum adiciatur et sulpur, 
efficacius tamen vitulinum fel, quo cum aceto cale- 

165 facto et lendes tolluntur. sebum vitulinum capitis 
ulceribus cum sale tritum utilissimum. laudatur et 
vulpium adips, sed praecipue felium fimum cum 
sinapis pari modo inlitum, caprini cornus farina vel 
cinis, magisque hircini, addito nitro et tamaricis 
semine et butyro oleoque, prius capite raso ; mire 
continent ita fluentem capillum, sicuti carnis cinere 

166 ex oleo inlita supercilia nigrescunt. lacte caprino 
lendes tolli tradunt,fimo cum melle 2 alopecias expleri, 
item ungularum cinere cum pice. fluentem capillum 
continet leporinus cinis cum oleo myrteo. capitis 
dolorem sedat pota aqua quae relicta est e bovis aut 
asini potu et, si credimus, vulpis masculae genitale 
circumligatum, cornus cervini cinis inlitus ex aceto 
aut rosaceo aut ex irino. 

167 XLVII. Oculorum epiphoras bubulo sebo cum oleo 
cocto inlinunt. cervini cornus cinere scabritias ex 
eodem 3 inunguunt, mucrones autem ipsos efficaciores 
putant. lupi excrementis circumlini suffusiones 

1 illitum Mayhoff : cum codd. : del. Detlefsen. 

2 melle] Coni. oleo e Dioscoride Mayhoff. 

3 ex eodem Mayhoff : eorundem Hard., Detlefsen : eodem 
multi codd., vulg. 



a The reading of Mayhoff is plausible and has been adopted, 
but the reading of the MSS., although there is a violent 
omission of several words understood from the preceding 
sentence, makes sense : " [the same part] of an ass's foal with 
his urine, also thickens the hair." 

114 



BOOK XXVIII. xlvi. 164-xLvii. 167 

this should be pounded with oil in a leaden mortar, 
and applied after shaving the head. They also think 
that thicker hair is encouraged by applying a the 
urine of a young ass. Nard is mixed with it because 
of its nastiness. For mange is applied warmed 
bull's gall with Egyptian alum. Running sores 011 
the head are healed efficaciously by bull's urine, 
also by stale human urine with the addition of 
cyclamen and sulphur, more efficaciously however by 
the gall of a calf, which warmed with vinegar also 
removes nits. For sores on the head calf's suet 
pounded with salt is very usetul. Fox fat is also 
recommended, but especially cats' dung applied with 
an equal quantity of mustard ; goat's horn, 
ground to powder or reduced to ash, a he-goat's 
being better, with the addition of soda, tamarisk seed, 
butter, and oil, the head being first shaved ; this treat- 
ment is wonderful for preventing loss of hair, just 
as goat's meat, reduced to ash and applied with 
oil, darkens the eyebrows. Goat's milk is said to 
remove nits, the dung with honey to replace hair lost 
by mange, likewise the hoofs reduced to ash and 
added to pitch. Hare's flesh reduced to ash, with 
oil of myrtle, prevents hair from falling out. Head- 
ache is relieved by drinking the water left after an 
ox or ass has drunk, and also, if we care to believe it, 
by the genital organ of a male fox fastened round the 
head, and by a deer's horn reduced to ashes and applied 
in vinegar, rose oil, or iris oil. 

XLVII. To eye fluxes is applied beef suet boiled Forcom- 
with oil ; scabrous eyes are smeared with the same and l y a e l" ts 
deer's horn reduced to ash, but the tips by them- 
selves are thought to be more efficacious. Cataract is 
benented by applying round the eyes the excrement of 

**"5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

prodest, cinere eorum cum Attico melle inungui 
obscuritates, item felle ursino, epinyctidas adipe 
apruno cum rosaceo. ungulae asininae cinis inunctus 
e suo lacte oculorum cicatrices et albugines tollit. 

168 medulla bubula e dextro crure priore trita cum 
fuligine pilis et palpebrarum vitiis angulorumque 
occurrit, calliblephari modo fuligo in hoc usu tem- 
peratur, optime ellychnio papyracio oleoque sesa- 
mino, fuligine in novum vas pinnis detersa, effica- 
cissime tamen evolsos ibi pilos coercet. felle tauri 
cum ovi albo collyria fiunt, aquaque dissoluta inun- 

169 gunt per quadriduum. sebum vituli cum anseris 
adipe et ocimi suco genarum vitiis aptissimum est. 
eiusdem medullae cum pari pondere cerae et olei vel 
rosacei addito ovo duritiae genarum inlinuntur. 
caseo molli caprino inposito ex aqua calida epiphorae 
sedantur, si tumor sit, ex melle ; utrumque sero calido 
fovendum. sicca lippitudo lumbulis suum exustis 

170 atque contritis et inpositis tollitur. capras negant 
lippire, quoniam quasdam herbas edint, item dor- 
cadas ; ob id fimum earum cera circumdatum nova 
luna devorari iubent. et quoniam noctu aeque x 
cernant, sanguine hircino lusciosos sanari putant 
nyetalopas a Graecis dictos, caprae vero iocinere in 
vino austero decocto. quidam inassati iocineris sanie 
inungunt aut felle caprae, carnesque vesci eas et, 

1 aeque Dellefsen : quoque aeque Mayhoff : aeque quoque 
plerique codd. : quoque r. 



For these see List of Diseases. 

* A possible reason for renioving the eyelashes and for pre- 
venting their regrowth is revealed in § 171. 
e A cosmetic for the eyebrows. 

n6 



BOOK XXVIII. xlvii. 167-170 

a wolf, dimness by smearing them with its ash and 
Attic honey, also with bear's gall, and epinyctis a with 
wild boar's fat and rose oil. The ash of an ass's hoof 
smeared on the eyes with the same ass's milk removes 
scars and albugo. The marrow from the right front 
leg of an ox, pounded and added to soot, combats b 
eyelashes, affections of the eyelids and of the corners 
of the eyes (the soot for this purpose is prepared as 
for a calliblepharum, c best from a papyrus wick and 
sesame oil, the soot being wiped off with feathers into 
a new vessel), very efficiently however it prevents the 
hairs once pulled out there from growing again. 
From the gall of a bull with white of egg are made 
eye-salves, and dissolved in water they are applied 
for four successive days. Calf suet with goose-grease 
and juice of ocimum is very good for affections of the 
eye-lids. Calf marrow, with equal weights of wax 
and of oil or rose-oil, with an egg added, is applied to 
indurations of the eye-lids. Eyefluxes arerelieved by 
an application in warm water of soft cheese made from 
goat's milk, or, if there is swelling, in honey ; in both 
cases there should be fomentation with warm whey. 
Dry ophthalmia is cured by taking the small loins of 
pork, burning, pounding, and then placing them on 
the eyes. She-goats are said never to suffer from 
ophthalmia, because of certain herbs they eat, and 
likewise gazelles ; for this reason it is recommended 
that at the new moon their dung should be swallowed, 
coated with wax. Since they see equally well at 
night, it is thought that those who have no night 
vision (the Greeks call them nyctalopes) are cured 
by the blood of a he-goat, but also by the liver of a 
she-goat boiled down in a dry wine. Some smear 
the eyes with the gravy from a she-goat's roasted 

117 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dum coquantur, oculos vaporari his praecipiunt. id 
quoque referre arbitrantur ut rutili coloris fuerint. 

171 volunt et suffiri oculos iocinere in ollis decocto, qui- 
dam inassato. fel quidem caprinum pluribus modis 
adsumunt, cum melle contra caligines, cum veratri 
candidi tertia parte contra glaucomata, cum vino 
contra cicatrices et albugines et caligines et pterygia 
et argema, ad palpebras vero evolso prius pilo cum 

172 suco oleris ita ut unctio inarescat, contra ruptas tuni- 
culas cum lacte mulieris. ad omnia inveteratum fel 
efficacius putant, nec abdicant fimum ex melle in- 
litum epiphoris, contraque dolores medullam, item 
pulmonem leporis, et ad caligines fel cum passo aut 
melle. lupino quoque adipe vel medulla suum 
fricari oculos contra lippitudines praecipiunt. nam 
vulpinam linguam habentes in armilla lippituros 
negant. 

173 XLVIII. Aurium dolori et vitiis medentur urina 
apri in vitreo servata, fel apri vel suis vel bubulum cum 
oleo citreo * et rosaceo aequis portionibus, praecipue 
vero taurinum cum porri suco tepidum vel cum melle, 
si suppuret, 2 contraque odorem gravem per se tepe- 
factum in malicorio. rupta in ea parte cum lacte 

174 mulierum efficaciter sanat. quidam etiam in gravi- 
tate aures sic perluendas putant, alii cum senecta 
serpentium et aceto — includunt lana — collutas ante 

1 citreo codd., Detlefsen : cedrino Mayhoff e Marcello : 
citrino f : cicino Caesarius. 

2 suppuret dxr, Detlefsen : supperet VR : suppurent 
Mayhoff, vulg. 



a For these see List of Diseases. 

h With Mayhoffs reading : " cedar.' 



BOOK XXVIII. xlvii. 170-xLvm. 174 

liver, or with its gall ; they prescribe its meat as a 
food, and fumigation of the eyes with the steam that 
arises from the cooking ; they also consider it import- 
ant for the animal to have been of a red colour. They 
also wish the eyes to be fumigated with the steam of 
the liver boiled in a clay pot ; some say that it should 
be roasted. The gall indeed of goats is employed 
in many ways ; with honey for dimness ; with a 
third part of white hellebore for opaqueness of 
the lens ; with wine for scars, albugo, a dimness, 
pterygia, a and argema a ; but with cabbage juice for 
affections of the eyelids, the hairs being first pulled 
out, and the application being left to dry ; with 
human milk for rupture of the eye-coats. For all 
purposes preserved gall is thought to be more effica- 
cious. Goat's dung with honey is a not unvalued 
ointment for eye fluxes, or the marrow for eye 
pains, or a hare's lung, and for dimness its gall 
with raisin wine or honey. Wolfs fat also or pig's 
marrow is prescribed as an ointment for ophthalmia. 
But it is said that those who carry a fox's tongue in 
a bracelet will never suffer from ophthalmia. 

XLVIII. Pain in the ears and ear affections are Fot com- 
cured by the urine of a wild boar kept in a glass f a rl" fe ' 
vessel, by the gall of a wild boar, pig, or ox, with 
citrus b oil and rose oil in equal proportions, but best 
of all by warm bull's gall with leek juice, or with 
honey should there be suppuration, and for foul odour 
the gall by itself warmed in a pomegranate rind. 
Ruptures in this region are thoroughly healed by the 
gall with woman's milk. Some hold that for hard- 
ness of hearing also the ears should be rinsed out with 
this wash, others add serpents' slough and vinegar 
(they insert the mixture on wool), the ears being 

119 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

catida aqua aut, si maior sit gravitas, taurinum x fel 
cum murra et ruta in malicorio excalfactum infundunt, 
lardum quoque pingue ; item fimum asini recens cum 
rosaceo instillatur, omnia tepefacta. utilior equi 
spuma vel equini fimi recentis cinis cum rosaceo, 
butyrum recens, sebum bubulum cum adipe anserino, 
urina caprae vel tauri aut fullonia vetus, calfacta 

175 vapore per lagoenae collum subeunte — admiscent 
aceti tertiam partem et aliquid murrae — vituli qui 
nondum herbam gustaverit fimum mixto felle eiusdem 
et cute 2 quam relincunt angues, excalefactis prius 
auribus ; lana autem medicamina ea includuntur. 
prodest et sebum vituli cum anseris adipe et ocimi 
suco, eiusdem medulla admixto cumino trito infusa, 
virus verrinum e scrofa exceptum priusquam terram 

176 attingat contra dolores, auribus fractis glutinum e 
naturis vitulorum factum et in aqua liquatum ; aliis 
vitiis adips vulpium, item fel caprinum cum rosaceo 
tepido aut porri suco aut, si rupta sint aliqua ibi, e 
lacte mulieris ; si gravitas audiendi, fel bubulum cum 
urina caprae vel hirci, vel si pus sit. in quocumque 
autem usu putant esse efficaciora haec in cornu 

177 caprino per dies viginti infumata. laudant et coagu- 
lum leporis tertia denarii parte ex dimidiaque saco- 
penii in Ammineo vino. parotidas ursinus adips con- 
primit pari pondere cerae et taurini sebi — addunt 
quidam hypocisthidem — 3 et per se butyrum inlitum, 

1 taurinum Urlichs, Detlefsen : verrinum Mayhoff e Mar- 
cello : aurium codd., vulg. 

2 cute d x Mayhoff : cutem multi codd., Detlefsen. 

3 Sic dist. Mayhoff. 



" With MayhofTs reading : " hog's." 

b Perhaps " taken out of " (Warmington). 

120 



BOOK XXVIII. xlmii. 174-177 

first rinsed with warm water, or, if the hardness of 
hearing amounts to deafness, they pour in bull's gall ° 
with myrrh and rue warmed in pomegranate rind, 
also fat bacon ; or fresh ass's dung with rose oil is 
inserted in drops, all being warmed. More useful is 
the foam of a horse, or fresh horse-dung reduced to 
asli and mixed with rose-oil, fresh butter, beef suet 
with goose grease, she-goat's or bull's urine, or that 
used by fullers, stale, and warmed until the steam 
rises up the neck of the jar (a third part of vinegar is 
added and little myrrh), the dung, mixed with the 
gall, of a calf that has not tasted grass added to the 
slough of snakes, the ears being first warmed ; these 
medicaments are inserted into the ears on wool. 
Beneficial is also veal suet, with goose grease and 
juice of ocimum; the marrow of a calf mixed with 
pounded cummin and poured into the ear ; and for 
ear pains the seminal fluid of a hog, caught b as it 
drips from a sow before it can touch the ground ; for 
fractures of the ears the glue made from the genitals 
of calves and melted in water ; for other afFections 
the fat of foxes, goat's gall with warm rose-oil or with 
leek juice, or, if any part of the ear has been ruptured, 
with woman's milk ; if there is hardness of hearing, 
ox gall with the urine of a goat, male or female, or if 
there is pus. But whatever the use may be, it is 
thought that these remedies are more efficacious if 
they are smoke-dried for twenty days in a goat's horn. 
Another approved treatment is a third of a denarius 
of hare's rennet and half a denarius of sacopenium in 
Amminean wine. Parotid swellings are reduced by 
bear's grease with an equal weight of wax and bull suet 
(some add hypocisthis), and an application of butter 
by itself after previous fomentation with a decoction 

121 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

si prius foveantur feni Graeci decocti suco, efficacius 
cum strychno. prosunt et vulpium testes et taurinus 
sanguis aridus tritus, urina caprae calefacta instillata 
auribus, fimum eiusdem cum axungia inlitum. 

178 XLIX. Dentes mobiles confirmat cervini cornus 
cinis doloresque eorum mitigat, sive infricentur sive 
colluantur. quidam efficaciorem ad omnes eosdem 
usus crudi cornus farinam arbitrantur. dentifricia 
utroque modo fiunt. magnum remedium est et in 
luporum capitis cinere. certum est in excrementis 
eorum plerumque inveniri ossa ; haec adalligata eun- 
dem eifectum habent, item leporina coagula per 
aurem infusa contra dolores. et capitis eorum cinis 
dentifricium est adiectoque nardo mulcet graveo- 

179 lentiam oris. aliqui murinorum capitum cinerem 
miscuisse malunt. reperitur in latere leporis os acui 
simile, hoc scarifare dentes in dolore suadent. talus 
bubulus accensus eos qui labant cum dolore admotus 
confirmat. eiusdem cinis cum murra dentifricium 
est. ossa quoque ex ungulis suum combusta eundem 
usum praebent, item ossa ex acetabulis pernarum 

180 circa quae coxendices vertuntur. isdem sanari 
demissis in fauces iumentorum verminationes notum 
est, sed et combustis dentes confirmari, asinino quo- 
que lacte percussu vexatos aut dentium eiusdem 
cinere. item lichene equi cum oleo infuso per aurem. 
est autem hoc non hippomanes, quod alioqui noxium 

181 omitto, sed in equorum genibus ac super ungulas. 

122 



BOOK XXVIII. xlviii. 177-XLix. 181 

of fenugreek, more efficaciously with the addition of 
strychnos. Beneficial also are the testicles of foxes 
and bull's blood dried and pounded, she-goat's urine 
warmed and poured by drops into the ear, and an 
application of she-goat's dung with axle-grease. 

XLIX. Loose teeth are made tight by the ash of fot the teeth. 
deer's horn, which relieves their pain, whether used 
as dentifrice or in a mouth wash. Some consider 
more efficacious for all the same purposes the unburnt 
horn ground to powder. Dentifrices are made in 
either way. A grand remedy too is a wolfs head 
reduced to ash. It is certain that bones are generally 
found in the excrements of wolves. Used as an amulet 
these have the same effect, and hare's rennet relieves 
toothache if poured through the ear. Hare's head 
reduced to ash makes a dentifrice, and with nard 
added corrects a bad odour from the mouth. Some 
prefer to add as well ash from the burnt heads of 
mice. There is found in the flank of a hare a bone 
like a needle, with which they recommend aching 
teeth to be scraped. The ignited pastern bone of an 
ox, applied to teeth that are loose and aching, 
tightens them ; the ash of the same with myrrh makes 
a dentifrice. The bones also of pigs' feet, when burnt, 
have the same effect, as have the bones from the 
sockets round which the hip-bones move. It is well 
known that by these, when inserted into the throat 
of draught cattle, worms are cured, that by them, 
when burnt, teeth are tightened, as they are, when 
loosened through a blow, by ass's milk, by the ash of 
an ass's teeth, or by the lichen of a horse poured with 
oil through the ear. This lichen is not the same 
as hippomanes, which being pernicious on several 
grounds I omit, but an excrescence on the knees of 

123 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

praeterea in corde equorum invenitur os dentibus cani- 
nis maximis simile, hoc scarifari dolorem aut exempto 
dente mortui equi maxillis ad numerum eius qui do- 
leat demonstrant. equarum virus a coitu in ellychniis 
accensum Anaxilaus prodidit x equinorum capitum 
visus 2 repraesentare monstrifice, similiter ex asinis. 
nam hippomanes tantas in veneficio vires habet ut 
adfusum aeris mixturae in effigiem equae Olympiae 

182 admotos mares equos ad rabiem coitus agat. mede- 
tur dentibus et fabrile glutinum in aqua decoctum 
inlitum et mox paulo detractum ita ut confestim con- 
luantur vino in quo decocti sunt cortices mali Punici 
dulcis. efficax habetur et caprino lacte conlui dentes 
vel felle taurino. talorum caprae recentium cinis 
dentrifricio placet et omnium fere villaticarum 
quadrupedum, ne saepius eadem dicantur. 

183 L. Cutem in facie erugari et tenerescere candore 3 
lacte asinino putant, notumque est quasdam cottidie 
septies genas 4 custodito numero fovere. Poppaea 
hoc Neronis principis instituit, balnearum quoque 
solia sic temperans, ob hoc asinarum gregibus eam 
comitantibus. impetus pituitae in facie butyro inlito 
tolluntur, efficacius cum cerussa, sincero vero ea vitia 

1 Hic lichenis add. I. Miiller : servat Mayhoff. 

2 visus vulg. : usus Detlefsen, codd. 

3 candore Urlichs, Detlefsen, Mayhoff, qui conicit candore 
eius aucto (vel lucido) : candore custodito codd. 

4 septies genas Mayhoff : septingenties multi codd., Hard., 
Detlefsen : septingentes VE. Coni. sescenties Warmington. 



a Candore without an epithet or cum is odd, as Mayhoff felt 
whcn he added eius aucto. A repeated custodito can hardlv be 
right, even in Pliny. If thc custodito 6f the MSS. has replaced 
a lost adjective or participle it is but guess-work to attempt 
emendation. 

124 



BOOK XXVIII. xlix. 181-L. 183 

horses and above their hoofs. Moreover, in the 
heart of horses is found a bone like very large canine 
teeth ; with this they prescribe the painful tooth 
to be scraped, or with the tooth, corresponding to the 
place of the aching tooth, extracted from the jaw- 
bone of a dead horse. Anaxilaus has informed us 
that the fluid coming from mares when covered, if 
ignited on lamp wicks, shows weird appearances 
of horses' heads, and similarly with asses. But 
hippomanes has such virulent and magical properties 
that, added to the molten bronze for a figure of an 
Olympian mare, it maddens any stallions brought 
near with a raving sexual lust. Teeth are also 
healed by workman's glue boiled down in water, ap- 
plied, and shortly after taken off, the teeth immedi- 
ately to be rinsed in wine in which the rind of sweet 
pomegranates has been boiled. It is also thought 
efficacious to rinse the teeth in goat's milk or bull's 
gall. The ash from a freshly-killed she-goat's pastern 
bones makes a popular dentifrice, and, so that I need 
not repeat myself, the same is true of nearly all female 
farm quadrupeds. 

L. It is thought that ass's milk removes wrinkles Forthe 
from the face, making the skin white ° and soft, and com P le * ion - 
it is well known that some women every day bathe 
their cheeks in it seven ° times, keeping carefully 
to that number. Poppaea, wife of the Emperor Nero, 
began this custom, even preparing her bath-tubs with 
the milk, and for this purpose she was always attended 
by troops of she-asses. Pituitous eruptions on the 
face are removed by the application of butter, the 
addition of white-lead being an improvement, but 

6 The septingenties of many MSS. must surely be wrong, even 
as a playfulexaggeration. Warmington's suggestion is happy. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quae serpunt, superinposita farina hordeacia, ulcera 

184 in facie membrana e partu bovis madida. frivolum 
videatur, non tamen omittendum propter desideria 
mulierum, talum candidi iuvenci XL diebus nocti- 
busque, donec resolvatur in liquorem, decoctum et in- 
litum linteolo candorem cutisque erugationem prae- 
stare. fimo taurino malas rubescere aiunt, non ut * 
crocodileam inlini melius sit, 2 sed foveri frigida et ante 

185 et postea iubent. testas et quae decolorem faciunt 
cutem fimum vituli cum oleo et cummi manu sub- 
actum emendat, ulcera oris ac rimas sebum vituli vel 
bovis cum adipe anserino et ocimi suco. est et alia 
mixtura sebo vituli cum medulla cervi et albae spinae 
foliis una tritis. idem praestat et medulla cum resina 

186 vel si vaccina sit, et ius e carne vaccina. lichenas oris 
praestantissime vincit glutinum factum e genitalibus 
vitulorum, liquatum aceto cum sulpure vivo, ramo 
ficulneo permixtum, ita ut bis die recens inlinatur, 
item lepras ex melle et aceto decoctum, quas et iocur 
hirci calidum inlinitum tollit, sicut elephantiasin fel 
caprinum, etiamnum lepras ac furfures tauri fel addito 
nitro, urina asini circa canis ortum, maculas in facie fel 
utriusque per sese aqua infractum evitatisque solibus 

187 ac ventis post detractam cutem. similis effectus et in 
taurino vitulinove felle cum semine cunilae, cinere e 

1 ut del. Gelenius. 

2 sit Urlichs, Mayhojf, sed {codd.) deleto. 

a See § 108. The non ut is curious, as the sense requires 
non ut non. Gelenius would delete ut. Warmington suggests 
ut non. 

b Perhaps sun-burn. 
126 



BOOK XXVIII. l. 183-187 

spreading sores by unmixed butter with a sprinkling 
of barley meal on top, and ulcers on the face by the 
membrane, still moist, that follows the birth of a 
calf. The following recipe may seem a trifle, but 
to satisfy the women I must not omit it : the pastern 
bone of a white bull-calf, boiled for forty days and 
nights until it melts to a jelly, and applied on a linen 
cloth, gives whiteness to the skin and smooths away 
wrinkles. They say that bull's dung brings a rosy 
colour to the cheeks, though it is better to rub them 
with crocodilea, a but before and after they must be 
bathed with cold water. Brick-red spots b and dis- 
colorations of the skin are removed by calf dung 
kneaded by hand with oil and gum, sores and cracks 
in the mouth by veal suet or beef suet with goose 
grease and juice of ocimum. There is yet another 
compound, veal suet with deer's marrow and white- 
thorn leaves pounded together. The same effect 
is given by marrow with resin, even if it is cow 
marrow, and by the broth from cow beef. An Foraffec- 
excellent cure for facial lichens is the gluey substance j?£"* °f the 
made from the genitals of calves, dissolved in vinegar 
with native sulphur, stirred up with a fig branch and 
applied fresh twice a day, and the same boiled down 
in honey and vinegar for leprous sores, which are 
also removed by a warm application of he-goat's liver, 
as is leprosy by goat's gall. Moreover, leprous sores 
and scurf are removed by bull's gall with soda, or at 
the rising of the Dog-star by ass's urine ; spots on 
the face by the gall of either animal broken up in 
water without addition ; after the skin has come 
away sun and winds must be avoided. A similar 
effect is also obtained by bull's gall or veal gall, with 
the seed of cunila, and the ash of deer's horn burnt 

127 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cornu cervino, si canicula exoriente conburatur. asi- 
nino sebo cicatricibus a lichene leprisque maxime color 
redditur. hirci fel et lentigines tollit admixto caseo 
ac vivo sulpure spongeaeque cinere, ut sit mellis 

188 crassitudo. aliqui inveterato felle maluere uti, 
mixtis calidis furfuribus pondere oboli unius quattuor- 
que mellis, prius defricatis maculis. efficax eiusdem 
et sebum cum melanthio et sulpure et iride, labrorum 
fissuris cum anserino adipe ac medulla cervina resina- 
que et calce. invenio aput auctores his qui lentigines 
habeant negari magice sacrificiorum usum. 

189 LI. Lacte bubulo aut caprino tonsillae et arteriae 
exulceratae levantur. gargarizatur tepidum ut est 
usus, expressum aut calefactum. caprinum utilius 
cum malva decoctum et sale exiguo. linguae exul- 
cerationi et arteriarum prodest ius omasi gargariza- 
tum, tonsillis autem privatim renes vulpium aridi cum 
melle triti inlitique, anginae fel taurinum vel capri- 

190 num cum melle, iocur melis ex aqua. oris gravitatem 
ulceraque butyrum emendat. spinam aliudve quid 
faucibus adhaerens felis extrinsecus fimo perfricatis 
aut reddi aut delabi tradunt. strumas discutit fel 
aprunum vel bubulum tepidum inlitum — nam coagu- 
lum leporis e vino in linteolo exulceratis dumtaxat in- 

191 ponitur — discutit et ungulae asini vel equi cinis ex 
oleo vel aqua inlitus et urina calefacta et bovis un- 
gulae cinis ex aqua, fimum quoque fervens ex aceto, 
item sebum caprinum cum calce aut fimum ex aceto 
decoctum testesque vulpini. prodest et sapo, Gal- 



BOOK XXVIII. l. 187-Li. 191 

at the rising of the lesser Dog-star. By ass suet their 
natural colour is restored to scars, especially to those 
left by lichen or leprous sores. Freckles too are 
removed by he-goat's gall mixed with cheese, native 
sulphur, and sponge ash ; the consistency of the 
mixture should be that of honey. Some have pre- 
ferred to use matured gali, mixing one obolus of 
warm bran and four oboli of honey, the spots being 
first rubbed. An efficacious mixture is also he-goat's 
suet with melanthium, sulphur, and iris ; for cracks 
in the lips the suet with goose grease, deer's marrow, 
resin, and lime. I find in my authorities that those 
with freckles are debarred from assisting at magic 
ritual. 

LI. Cow's milk or goat's is helpful for ulcerated 
tonsils or trachea. It is used as a gargle, of the month. 
usual warmth, either newly milked or heated. 
Goat's milk is more useful, boiled down with mallow 
and a little salt. For ulceration of the tongue or 
trachea a remedy is a gargle of tripe broth, while for 
tonsils are specific dried fox kidneys pounded with 
honey and applied, and for quinsy bull's or goat's 
gall with honey, or badger's liver in water. Butter 
remedies offensive breath and ulcerated mouth. If 
a pointed thing or anything else sticks in the throat, 
external rubbing with cat's dung is said either to 
bring it up or to make it pass down. Scrofulous sores 
are dispersed by a warm application of wild-boar's 
gall or ox gall (but hare's rennet, on a linen cloth 
with wine, is applied only when there is ulceration) 
or by the ash of the hoof of ass or horse applied in oil 
or water, the urine heated, the ash of an ox's hoof in 
water, t.he hot dung in vinegar, goat suet with lime 
or dung boiled in vinegar, or a fox's testicles. Soap 

129 

VOL. VIII. F 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

liarum l hoc inventum rutilandis capillis. fit ex sebo 
et cinere, optimus fagino et caprino, 2 duobus modis, 
spissus ac liquidus, uterque apud Germanos maiore in 
usu viris quam feminis. 

192 LII. Cervicium dolores butyro aut adipe ursino 
perfricentur, rigores bubulo sebo, quod strumis pro- 
dest cum oleo. dolorem inflexibilem — opisthotonum 
vocant — levat urina caprae auribus infusa aut fimum 
cum bulbis inlitum, ungues contusos fel cuiuscumque 
animalis circumligatum, pterygia digitorum fel tauri 
aridum aqua calida dissolutum. quidam adiciunt 
sulpur et alumen pari pondere omnium. 

193 LIII. Tussim iocur lupi ex vino tepido sanat, ursi- 
num fel admixto melle aut ex cornus bubuli summis 
partibus cinis, vel saliva equi triduo pota — ecum mori 
tradunt — pulmo cervinus cum gula sua arefactus in 
fumo, dein tusus ex melle cottidiano eligmate ; 
efficacior est ad id subulo cervorum generis. san- 

194 guinem expuentes cervini cornus cinis, coagulum 
leporis tertia parte denarii cum terra Samia et vino 
myrteo potum sanat, eiusdem fimi cinis in vino vesperi 
potus nocturnas tusses, pili quoque leporis suffiti extra- 
hunt pulmonibus difficiles excreationes. purulentas 
autem exulcerationes pectoris pulmonisque et a pul- 
mone graveolentiam halitus butyrum efficacissime 
iuvat cum pari modo mellis Attici decoctum donec 

1 Galliarum dT Mayhoff : Gallarum RE : Gallorum V. 
vulg., Detlefsen. 

2 caprino codd., Mayhoff : carpineo Sillig, Detlefsen. 



a Sillig's emendation, adopted by Detlefsen, would give : 
" or hornbeam." It was suggested by thc strange arrange- 
ment of sebo, cinere, fagino, caprino. 



130 



BOOK XXVIII. li. 191-Liii. 194 

is also good, an invention of the Gallic provinces for 
making the hair red. It is made from suet and ash, 
the best from beech ash and goat suet,° in two kinds, 
thick and liquid, both being used among the Germans, 
more by men than by women. 

LII. For pains in the neck it should be rubbed with 
butter or bear's grease, and for stiffness with beef 
suet, which with oil is good for scrofulous sores. The 
rigid cramp, called opisthotonus, is relieved by 
she-goat's urine poured into the ears or by an 
application of the dung with bulbs, crushed nails by 
binding round them the gall of any animal, and 
whitlows by dried bull's gall dissolved in hot water. 
Some add sulphur and alum, all the ingredients being 
of equal weight. 

LIII. Cough is cured by wolfs liver in warmed Forcough. 
wine, by bear's gall mixed with honey, by the tips of 
the horns of ox or cow reduced to ash, by the saliva 
of a horse taken for three days (they say that the 
horse dies), by a deer's lung dried in smoke with the 
gullet, then pounded in honey and taken daily as an 
electuary, the species of deer more efficacious for 
this purpose being the subulo. 6 Spitting of blood is 
cured by the ash of deers horn, and by hare's 
rennet, the dose being one third part of a denarius, 
with Samian c earth and myrtle wine. Hare's dung 
reduced to ash and taken in wine in the evening cures 
night coughs, and inhaling the smoke of burning 
hare's-fur brings up difficult expectorations. Purulent 
ulceration of the chest or lungs, and foul breath from 
the lungs, are very effectivelyrelieved by butter boiled 
with an equal measure of Attic honey until it turns 

b See XI. § 213. 

c A fine clay, of which the famous Samian ware was made. 

131 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rufescat et matutinis sumptum ad mensuram lingulae. 

195 quidam pro melle laricis resinam addere maluere. si 
sanguis reiciatur, efficacem tradunt bubulum san- 
guinem, modice et cum aceto sumptum, nam de 
taurino credere temerarium est. sed glutinum 
taurinum tribus obolis cum calida aqua bibitur in 
vetere sanguinis excreatione. 

196 LIV. Stomachum exulceratum lactis asinini potus 
reficit, item bubuli, rosiones eius caro bubula admixto 
aceto et vino cocta, rheumatismos cornus cervini cinis, 
sanguinis excreationes haedinus sanguis recens ad 
cyathos ternos cum aceto acri pari modo fervens potus, 
coagulum tertia parte ex aceto potum, LV. iocineris 

197 dolores lupi iocur aridum ex mulso, asini iocur aridum 
cum petroselini partibus duabus ac nucibus tribus ex 
melle tritum et in cibo sumptum, sanguis hircinus 
cibo aptatus. suspiriosis ante omnia efficax est potus 
equiferorum sanguinis, proxime lactis asinini tepidi, 
bubuli * decocti ita ut serum ex eo bibatur, addito in 
tres heminas cyatho nasturtii albi perfusi aqua, deinde 
melle diluti. iocur quoque vulpinum aut pulmo in 
vino nigro aut fel ursinum in aqua laxat meatus 
spirandi. 

198 LVI. Lumborum dolores et quaecumque alia mol- 
liri opus sit ursino adipe perfricari convenit, cinerem 
apruni aut suilli fimi inveterati aspergi potioni vini. 
[adferunt 2 et Magi sua commenta : primum omnium 
rabiem hircorum, si mulceatur barba, mitigari, eadem 

1 bubuli VRdT, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : bulbi E : bulbis r vulg. 

2 adferunt VRd vulg. Mayhoff : adiciunt Sillig, Detlefsen. 



a It was supposed to be poison. 
132 



BOOK XXVIII. liii. 194-Lvi. 198 

red, the dose being a spoonful taken in the morning ; 
some instead of honey have preferred to add larch 
resin. For spitting of blood it is said to be beneficial 
to drink ox or cow blood, a moderate amount taken 
in vinegar. But to trust recommendations of bull's 
blood is hazardous ; a bull glue, however, in three- 
oboli doses is taken with warm water for chronic 
spitting of blood. 

LIV. An ulcerated stomach is cured by drinking Forstomack 
ass's milk or cow's milk ; gnawings of the stomach by m 
beef boiled in a mixture of vinegar and wine ; 
catarrhs by the ash of deer's horn ; spitting of blood 
by fresh kid's-blood taken hot, in doses up to three 
cyathi, with an equal amount of strong vinegar, or by 
one part of kid's rennet with two parts of vinegar; LV. 
pains of the liver by dried wolf 's liver in honey wine ; 
by dried ass's liver, with two parts of rock parsley 
and three nuts, pounded in honey and taken in food, 
and by he-goat's blood made suitable for food. For 
asthma, effective above all things is to drink the 
blood of wild horses, next to drink warm ass's milk, 
or cow's milk boiled, the part drunk being the whey 
only, with the addition for every three heminae of a 
cyathus of white cress steeped in water and then 
tempered with honey. A fox's liver or lung also in 
dark wine, or bear's gall in water, loosens the breath 
passage. 

LVI. Pains in the loins and all other complaints Fonheioins. 
needing emollients should be treated by rubbing with 
bear's grease, or the ash of wild boar's or pig's 
dried dung should be sprinkled in a draught of 
wine. [The Magi too add their usual lies : first of 
all, that the madness of he-goats is soothed if their 
beard is stroked, and if it is cut off, they do not stray 

133 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

praecisa non abire eos in alienum gregem. 1 ] ischia- 
dicis fimum bubulum inponunt calfactum in foliis 
cinere ferventi. 2 huic admiscent fimum caprinum et 
subdito linteolo uncto cava manu quantum capi possit 
fervens sustineri iubent ita ut, si laeva pars doleat, 
haec medicina in dextera manu fiat aut e contrario. 
fimum quoque ad eum usum acus aereae punctu tolli 

199 iubent. modus est curationis donec vapor ad lumbos 
pervenisse sentiatur, postea manum porro tuso in- 
linunt, item lumbos ipso fimo cum melle ; suadent in 
eo dolore et testes leporis devorare. in renium dolore 
leporis renes crudos devorari iubent, aut certe coctos 
ita ne dente contingantur. ventris quidem dolore 
temptari negant talum leporis habentes. 

200 LVII. Lienem sedat fel apri vel suis potum vel 
cervini cornus cinis in aceto, efficacissime tamen in- 
veteratus lien asini ita ut in triduo sentiatur utilitas. 
asinini pulli fimum quod primum edidit — poleam 
vocant — Syri dant in aceto mulso, datur et equi lingua 
inveterata ex vino praesentaneo medicamento, ut 
didicisse se ex barbaris Caecilius Bion tradidit, et lien 
bubulus simili modo, recens autem assus vel elixus in 
cibo. in vesica quoque bovis alii capita XX tusa cum 

1 uncos add. Mayhoff. 

2 ischiadicis . . . ferventi transposuit Mayhoff ex § 199, ubi 
post leporis devorare ha.be.nt codd., vulg. 



a I have bracketed this sentence, following Mayhoff; where 
it sliould be transferred is not elear. 

b Mayhoffs transposition of ischiadicis fimum . . . ferventi 
is not ccrtain, although Dioscorides, II. 80, § 2, evl loxiaoLKiov 
. . . KaXelrai Se rotauT?; Kavms WpafitKT], is very siniilar. Thc 
huic ndmiscent after imponunt is strange ; if the transposition 
is correct, huic must mean " the dung last mentioned," and the 

134 



BOOK XXVIII. lvi. 198-Lvn. 200 

to another herd.] ° For sciatica they apply cow-dung 
heated in leaves over hot embers. 6 With this dung 
they mix goat 's dung, prescribing that as much as it can 
contain should be held hot in the hollow of the hand, 
a linen cloth soaked in oil being placed underneath ; 
if the left side aches the medicament should be held 
in the right hand, and vice versa ; the dung for this 
purpose, they say, must be taken up with the point of 
a bronze needle. The treatment iscontinued until 
the warmth is felt to have reached the loins ; after- 
wards they rub the hand with pounded leek, the loins 
also with the dung itself and honey. For this pain 
they also recommend sufferers to swallow a hare's 
testicles. For pain in the kidneys they prescribe the 
kidneys of a hare to be swallowed raw, or if boiled 
at least not to be touched by a tooth. Bowel pain 
indeed never, they say, afflicts those who carry about 
them the pastern bone of a hare. 

LVII. The spleen is relieved by wild boar's or pig's for the 
gall taken by the mouth, by ash of deer's horn in spee 
vinegar, but most efficaciously by matured ass's spleen, 
with the result that benefit is felt within three days. 
The first dung passed by an ass's foal, called polea, is 
administered by the Syrians in oxymel. There is 
also administered in wine as a sovereign remedy the 
dried tongue of a horse, as Caecilius Bion reports 
that he learnt from foreigners. c Spleen of ox or cow 
is administered in a similar way ; if fresh it is roasted 
or boiled and taken in food. There are also applied 
for pains in the spleen twenty crushed heads of garlic 

application to the hip is to be reinforced by holding some in 
the hand. 

e This is interesting, for it shows how wide Pliny spread his 
net. The remedies given are by no means all Italian. 

135 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

201 aceti sextario imponuntur ad lienis dolores. eadem 
ex causa emi lienem vituli quanti indicatus sit iubent 
Magi nulla pretii cunctatione, quoniam hoc quoque 
religiose pertineat, divisumque per longitudinem 
adnecti tunicae utrimque et induentem pati decidere 
ad pedes, dein collectum arefacere in umbra. cum 
hoc fiat, simul residere lienem aegri vitiatum liberari- 
que eum morbo dicitur. prodest et pulmo vulpium 
cinere siccatus atque in aqua potus, item haedorum 
lien impositus. 

202 LVIII. Alvum sistit cervi sanguis, item cornus 
cinis, iocur aprunum ex vino potum citra salem 
recensque, item assum, vel suillum, hircinum decoc- 
tum ad quintas * in vino, coagulum leporis in vino 
ciceris magnitudine aut, si febris sit, ex aqua — aliqui 
et gallam adiciunt, alii per se leporis sanguine con- 
tenti sunt — lac coctum, equini flmi cinis in aquae potu, 
taurini cornus veteris e parte ima cinis inspersus 
potioni aquae, sanguis hircinus in carbone decoctus, 
corium caprinum cum suo pilo decoctum suco epoto, 

203 coagulum equi et sanguis caprinus vel medulla vel 
iocur. alvum solvit fel lupi cum elaterio umbilico 
inlitum 2 vel lactis equini potus, item caprini cum sale 
et melle, caprae fel cum cyclamini suco et aluminis 
momento — aliqui et nitrum et aquam adiecisse malunt 
— fel tauri cum absinthio tritum ac subditum pastillo, 

1 ad quintas ego : ad quintam heminae Detlefsen : ad 
quintas hemina Mayhoff : ad quintam heminam codd. 

2 inlitum vet. Dal., Mayhoff : inligatum codd., Detlefsen. 

a I believe that the -s of quintas was taken to be a sign for 
hemina; the further change to quinta(m) htminam would be 
inevitable. For the omission of a measure cf. ad dimidias 
partes § 206. 

136 



bowels. 



BOOK XXVIII. lvii. 200-Lviii. 203 

in the bladder of an ox with a sextarius of vinegar. 
For the same purpose the Magi recommend a calfs 
spleen to be bought at the price asked, without any 
haggling, attention to this also affecting the efficacy of 
the ritual. This spleen should be divided lengthwise 
and attached to the patient's tunic on both sides. 
As he puts it on, the patient should allow the spleen 
to fall to his feet, then pick it up and dry in the shade. 
At the same time as this happens, the diseased spleen 
of the patient is said to shrink, and he himself to be 
freed from his complaint. Beneficial too is fox lung 
dried on embers and taken in water, and kids' spleen 
applied locally. 

LVIII. Binding to the bowels are stag's blood, Forthe 
stag's horn reduced to ash, wild boar's liver taken in 
wine, unsalted and fresh, the same liver roasted, pig's 
liver, he-goat's liver boiled down to one fifth ° in wine, 
hare's rennet of the size of a chick-pea in wine, or if 
there is fever, in water — some add a gall-nut, others 
are content with hare's blood by itself — boiled milk, 
horse dung reduced to ash in a draught of water, the 
root of an old horn of a bull reduced to ash and 
sprinkled on a draught of water, he-goat's blood boiled 
down over charcoal, the juice, taken by the mouth, of 
goat's skin boiled down with the hair on, horse rennet 
and goat's blood, marrow, or liver. The bowels are 
loosened by wolf 's gall applied b to the navel with 
elaterium, or by draughts of mare's milk, or of goat's 
milk with salt and honey, by she-goat's gall with 
j uice of cyclamen and a little alum — some prefer to 
add both soda and water — bull's gall pounded with 
wormwood and used in the form of a lozenge as a 
suppository, and by large doses of butter. Those 

6 Cf. § 205 umbilico inponere. 

137 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

204 butyrum largius sumptum. coeliacis et dysintericis 
medetur iocur vaccinum, cornus cervini cinis tribus 
digitis captus in potione aquae, coagulum leporis 
subactum in pane, si vero sanguinem detrahant, in 
polenta, apruni vel suilli vel leporini fimi cinis 
inspersus potioni tepidi vini. vituli quoque ius 
vulgariter dari x inter auxilia coeliacorum et dysin- 
tericorum tradunt. lactis asinini potus utilior addito 
melle, nec minus efficax fimi cinis ex vino utrique 
vitio, item polea supra dicta, equi coagulum, quod 

205 aliqui hippacen appellant, etiam si sanguinem detra- 
hant, vel fimi cinis dentiumque eiusdem tusorum 
farina salutaris et bubuli lactis decocti potus. dysin- 
tericis addi mellis exiguum praecipiunt et, si tormina 
sint, cornus cervini cinerem aut fel taurinum cumino 
mixtum et cucurbitae carnes umbilico inponere. 
caseus recens vaccinus inmittitur ad utrumque vitium, 
item butyrum heminis quattuor cum resinae tere- 
binthinae sextante aut cum malva decocta aut cum 
rosaceo. datur et sebum vitulinum aut bubulum, 

206 item medulla 2 — et cocuntur 3 cum farinae ceraeque 
exiguo et oleo, ut sorberi possit ; 4 medulla et in pane 
subigitur — lac caprinum ad dimidias partes decoctum. 
si sint et tormina, additur protropum. torminibus 
satis esse remedii in leporis coagulo poto e vino tepido 
\<1 semel arbitrantur aliqui. cautiores et sanguine 

1 dari Mayhoff : datum Detlefsen : datum aut dati codd. 
- incduJla VdTE Mayhoff : medullae R, valg., Detlefsen. 
s et coquuntur (cocuntur) VdTE : excoquuntur R, vulg., 
Detlefsen : et coquitur Mayhoff. 

4 possit Mayhoff, codd. : possint Detlefsen, vulg. 

138 



BOOK XXVIII. lviii. 203 206 

with coeliac disorder or dysentery are benefited by 
cow's liver, a three-finger pinch of the ash of deer's 
horn taken in a draught of water, by hare's rennet 
kneaded in bread, but in pearl barley if blood is 
brought away, and by ash of wild boar's, pigs, or 
hare's dung sprinkled on a draught of warm wine. 
It is also reportcd that veal broth is a popular remedy 
to relieve sufferers from coeliac disorder or dysentery. 
Ass's milk makes a more beneficial draught with the 
addition of honey, the dung, reduced to ash and taken 
in wine, is 110 less efficacious for either complaint, 
polea a too, which I mentioned just now, horse's 
rennet, that some call kippace, even if blood is brought 
away, or the dung ash and crushed teeth of the same 
animal, a health-giving powder, and taken with boiled 
cow's milk. For dysentery is prescribed the addition 
of a little honey, and if there are griping pains to apply 
to the navel the ash of deer's horn or bull's gall mixed 
with cummin, and the fleshy parts of a gourd. New 
cheese made from cow's milk is injected for both 
complaints, so also four heminae of butter with two 
ounces of terebinth resin, or with a decoction of 
mallows, or with rose oil. There is administered also 
veal suet, beef suet, or the marrow (they are boiled 
with a little flour and wax, and with oil, so that to 
drink the mixture is possible, and the marrow is also 
kneaded in bread), and goat's milk boiled down to 
one half ; if there is also griping, protropum b is added. 
It is thought by some that a sufficient remedy for 
griping is even a single dose of hare's rennet taken in 
warm wine ; more careful people also apply as 

a See § 200. 

6 The first wine made from grapes before pressing. See 
XIV. § 75 and § 85. 

139 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

caprino cum farina hordeacea et resina ventrem in- 

207 linunt. ad omnes epiphoras ventris inlini caseum 
mollem suadent, veterem autem in farinam tritum 
coeliacis et dysintericis dari, cyatho casei in cyathis 
vini cibarii tribus. sanguis caprinus decoctus cum 
medulla dysintericis, iocur assum caprae coeliacis 
subvenit, magisque etiam hirci, in vino austero decoc- 
tum potumque vel ex oleo myrteo umbilico inpositum. 
quidam decocunt a tribus sextariis aquae ad heminam 

208 addita ruta. utuntur et liene asso caprae hircive et 
sebo hirci in pane qui cinere coctus sit, caprae a reni 
bus maxime, ut per se hauriatur protinus aqua x 
modice frigida. sorberi iubent aliqui et in aqua 
decoctum sebum admixta polenta et cumino et aneto 
acetoque. inlinunt et ventrem coeliacis fimo cum 

209 melle decocto. utuntur ad utrumque vitium et 
coagulo haedi in vino myrtite fabae magnitudine poto 
et sanguine eiusdem in cibum formato quem sangui- 
culum vocant. infundunt dysintericis et glutinum 
taurinum aqua calida resolutum. inflationes discutit 
vitulinum fimum in vino decoctum. intestinorum 
vitiis magnopere prodest coagulum cervorum decoc- 
tum cum lente betaque atque in cibo ita sumptum, 
leporis pilorum cinis cum melle decoctus, 2 lactis cap- 

210 rini potu decocti cum malva exiguo sale addito. si 
et coagulum addatur, maioribus emolumentis fiat. 

1 aqua Detlefsen : -que Mayhojf : que, inque, lique codd. 

2 decoctus d vulg., Mayhoff : decocto multi codd., Detlefsen. 

a We should say " grated cheese." 
140 



BOOK XXVIII. lviii. 206-210 

embrocation to the belly goat's blood with barley 
meal and resin. For all fluxes from the belly an 
application of soft cheese is recommended, but 
matured cheese powdered ° is used for coeliac dis- 
orders and dysentery, the dose being a cyathus of 
cheese in three cyathi of ordinary wine. A decoction 
of goat's blood with goat's marrow is beneficial for 
dysentery, roasted she-goat's liver for coeliac com- 
plaints, or, better still, that of a he-goat boiled down 
in dry wine and drunk, or applied to the navel in 
myrtle oil. Some boil it down from three sextarii of 
water to one hemina with rue added. They also use 
the roasted spleen of a she-goat or he-goat with the 
suet of a he-goat in bread baked over hot ashes, the 
best suet being from the kidneys of a she-goat, which 
should be swallowed by itself, and be immediately 
followed by a draught of moderately cold water. 
Some prescribe also a decoction of the suet in water, 
made into a stew with other ingredients — pearl 
barley, cummin, dill, and vinegar. They also rub 
the belly of sufferers from coeliac disorders with a 
decoction of honey and goat's dung. For both 
complaints they also use kid's rennet, of the size of a 
bean, taken in myrtle wine, or kid's blood made into 
a food, called " blood pudding." They also inject 
into dysentery patients bull glue dissolved in hot 
water. Flatulence is dispersed by calf dung boiled 
down in wine. Disorders of the intestines are greatly 
benefited by a decoction of deers' rennet with lentils 
and beet, and so taken in food, by the ash of hare's 
fur boiled down with honey, by a draught of goat's 
milk boiled down with mallows with the addition of a 
little salt ; if goat's rennet too is added the beneficial 
effects will be much greater. The same is the effect 

141 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

eadem vis est et in sebo caprino in sorbitione aliqua, 
uti protinus hauriatur frigida aqua. item feminum 
haedi cinis rupta intestina sarcire mire traditur, 
fimum leporis cum melle decoctum et cottidie fabae 
magnitudine sumptum ita ut deploratos sanaverint. 
laudant et caprini capitis sum suis pilis decocti sucum. 

211 LIX. Tenesmos, id est crebra et inanis voluntas 
desurgendi, 1 tollitur poto lacte asinino, item bubulo. 
taenearum genera pellit cervini cornus cinis potus. 
quae in excrementis lupi diximus inveniri ossa, si 
terram non attigerint, colo medentur adalligata 
bracchio. polea quoque supra dicta magnopere pro- 
dest decocta in sapa, item suilli fimi farina addito 
cumino in aqua rutae decoctae, cornus cervini teneri 
cinis cocleis Africanis cum testa sua tusis mixtus in 
vini potione. 

212 LX. Vesicae calculorumque cruciatibus auxiliatur 
urina apri et ipsa vesica pro cibo sumpta, efficacius, si 
prius fumo maceretur utrumque. vesicam elixam 
mandi oportet, et a muliere feminae suis. inveni- 
untur et in iocineribus eorum lapilli aut duritiae 
lapillis similes, candidae, sicut in vulgari sue, quibus 
contritis atque in vino potis pelli calculos aiunt. ipsi 
apro tam gravis urina sua est ut nisi egesta fugae non 
sufficiat ac velut devinctus opprimatur, exuri illa 

1 id est . . . desurgendi in uncis ponere velit Warmington. 

a Warmington thinks that the explanation of tenesmos is a 
gloss. 

b See § 178. 
c See § 200. 
d Book XIV. § 80 ; it was must boiled down to one third. 

142 



BOOK XXVIII. LVIII. 2IO-LX. 212 

of goat's suet in some kind of stew, to be immedi- 
ately followed by a draught of cold water. A kid's 
hams also reduced to ash are said to be wonderfully 
healing to intestinal rupture, and the dung of a hare, 
boiled down with honey and taken daily in doses the 
size of a bean, to be so beneficial as they have cured 
desperate cases. Highly recommended also is the 
broth of a goat's head with the fur still on. 

LIX. Tenesmus, that is a frequent and ineffectual 
desire to go to stool, a is removed by drinking ass's 
milk, or cow's milk. Worms are expelled by ash of 
deer's horn, taken in drink. The bones that I have 
said b are found in the excrements of a wolf, tied on 
to the arm as an amulet without touching the earth, 
are a cure for colitis. Polea also, mentioned above, c 
is of great benefit if boiled down in sapa, d likewise too 
powdered pig's dung and cummin in the water of a 
decoction of rue, and young deer's horn reduced to 
ash, mixed with African snails pounded with their 
shells and taken in a draught of wine. 

LX. The tortures of stone in the bladder are te-Forstone 
lieved bv the urine of a wild boar and bv his bladder f£ the 

iri /«lii -i kianeys. 

ltself taken as iood ; both remedies are more 
efficacious if first thoroughly smoked. The bladder 
should be eaten boiled, and be a sow's if the patient 
is a woman. There are also found in the liver of 
these animals little stones, or hard substances like 
stones, white, and like those found in the liver of the 
common pig. These, crushed and taken in wine, are 
said to expel stone. His own urine is such a burden 
to the boar himself that unless he has voided it he 
is not strong enough for flight, and is over- 
come as if spell-bound. It is said that the urine 
dissolves the stone. Stone is also expelled by a 

x 43 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

213 tradunt eos. 1 leporis renes inveterati in vino poti 
calculos pellunt. in pernae suum articulo os 2 esse 
diximus quod decoctum ius facit urinae utile. 
asini renes inveterati tritique ex vino mero dati 
vesicae medentur. calculos expellunt lichenes equini 
ex vino aut mulso poti diebus XL. prodest et un- 
gulae equinae cinis in vino aut aqua, item fimum 
caprarum in mulso, efficacius silvestrium, pili quoque 
caprini cinis ; verendorum carbunculis cerebrum apri 

214 vel suis sanguisque. vitia vero quae in eadem parte 
serpunt iocur eorum combustum, maxime iunipiri 
ligno, cum charta et arrhenico sanat, fimi cinis, fel 
bubulum cum alumine Aegyptio ac murra ad crassi- 
tudinem mellis subactum, insuper beta ex vino cocta 
inposita, caro quoque ; manantia vero ulcera sebum 
cum medulla vituli in vino decoctum, fel caprinum 
cum melle rubique suco, vel si serpant ; fimum etiam 
prodesse cum melle dicunt aut cum aceto et per se 

215 butyrum. testium tumor sebo vituli addito nitro co- 
hibetur vel fimo eiusdem ex aceto decocto. urinae 
incontinentiam cohibet vesica apruna, si assa man- 
datur, ungularum apri vel suis cinis potioni inspersus, 
vesica feminae suis conbusta ac pota, item haedi, vel 
pulmo, cerebrum leporis in vino, eiusdem testiculi 
tosti vel coagulum cum anserino adipe in polenta, 
renes asini in mero triti potique. Magi verrini geni- 
talis cinere poto ex vino dulci demonstrant urinam 

1 ea . . . illos coni. Mayhoff. 

2 articulo os Mayhoff : articulos codd. 

a See § 179. 
144 



BOOK XXVIII. lx. 212-215 

hare's kidneys, dried and taken in wine. In the ham 
joints of pigs I have said a there are bones the broth 
from which is beneficial for urinary disorders. The 
kidneys of an ass, dried, pounded, and given in neat 
wine, cure complaints of the bladder. The excres- 
cences on the legs of horses, taken for forty days in 
wine or honey wine, expel stone. Beneficial too is the 
ash of a horse's hoof in wine or water, the dung also 
in honey wine of she-goats, that of wild goats being 
more efficacious, the ash also of goat's hair, while for 
carbuncles on the privates are used the brains and 
blood of a wild boar or pig. Creeping sores however 
in the same part are cured by the burnt liver of these 
animals, best if the fire is of juniper wood, mixed 
with paper and orpiment, by their dung reduced to 
ash, by ox gall with Egyptian alum and myrrh, 
kneaded to the consistency of honey, moreover bv 
an application of beet boiled in wine, also by beef ; 
but running ulcers by beef suet with the marrow of a 
calf boiled down in wine, by goat's gall with honey 
and blackberry juice, even if the sores are spreading. 
They say that goat's dung too with honey or vinegar 
is beneficial, and also butter by itself. Swelling of 
the testicles is reduced by veal suet with the addition 
of soda, or by calfs dung boiled down in vinegar. 
Incontinence of urine is checked by a wild-boar's 
bladder, if eaten roasted, by the ash of a wild-boar's 
or pig's hoofs sprinkled on a drink, by the bladder 
of a sow burnt and taken in drink, of a kid also, or by 
its lung, by the brain of a hare in wine, by a hare's 
roasted testicles, or the rennet, with goose grease in 
pearl barley, or by the kidneys of an ass pounded in 
neat wine and drunk. The Magi recommend that, 
after drinking in sweet wine a boar's genital organ re- 

145 



PLINY: NATUllAL HISTORY 

facere in canis cuhili ac vorba adicere, ne ipse urinam 
faciat ut canis in suo cubili. rursus ciet urinam vesica 
suis, si terram non attigerit, inposita pubi. 

216 LXI. Sedis vitiis praeclare prodest fel ursinum cum 
adipe. quidam adiciunt spumam argenti ac tus. 
prodest et butyrum cum adipe anserino ac rosaceo ; 
modum ipsae res statuunt, ut sint inlitu faciles. prae- 
clare medetur et taurinum fel in linteolis concerptis, 
rimasque perducit ad cicatricem. inflationibus in ea 
parte sebum vituli, maxime ab inguinibus, cum ruta ; 
ceteris vitiis medetur sanguis caprinus cum polenta, 
item fel caprinum condylomatis per se, item fel 

217 lupinum ex vino. panos et apostemata in quacumque 
parte sanguis ursinus discutit, item taurinus aridus 
tritus. praecipuum tamen remedium traditur in 
calculo onagri quem dicitur, cum interficiatur, red- 
dere urina liquidiorem initio sed in terra spissantem 
se. hic adalligatus femini omnes impetus discutit 
omnique suppuratione liberat. est autem rarus in- 
ventu nec ex omni onagro, sed mire * celebrant 2 
remedio. prodest et urina asini cum melanthio et 
ungulae equinae cinis cum oleo et aqua inlitus, 
sanguis equi, praecipue admissarii, sanguis bubulus, 

218 item fel. caro quoque eosdem effectus habet calida 
inposita et ungulae cinis ex aqua aut melle, urina 
caprarum, hircorum quoque carnes in aqua decoctae 

1 mire /. Muller, Mayhoff: medici Brakman: me r : ne E 
om. multi codd. 

2 celebrant /. Muller, Mayhoff : celebrari codd. : celebri 
nilg. Forta^se maxime celebratur. 



a I. Muller's emendations, adopted by Mayhoff, have been 
kept with some misgivings. Mayhoff himself suggests mazime t 

146 



BOOK XXVIII. lx. 215-Lxi. 218 

duced to ash, the patient should make water in a dog's 
bed and add a prayer, that he may not himself make 
water, as a dog does, in his own bed. On the other 
hand, the bladder of a pig is diuretic, if, without 
touching the ground, it is applied to the pubic part. 
LXI. Complaints of the anus are greatly benefited 
by bear's gall and bear's fat ; some add litharge and 
frankincense. Beneficial too is butter with goose 
grease and rose oil ; the quantities are determined by 
circumstances ; the mixture must be easy to apply. 
Greatly beneficial too is bull's gail in scraps of linen ; 
it makes chaps to cicatrize. Swellings in that part 
of the body are reduced by veal suet, especially by 
that from the groin, with rue ; other complaints are 
cured by goat's blood with pearl barley, condylomata 
by goat's gall by itself, or by wolfs gall in wine. 
Superficial and other abscesses in any part are dis- 
persed by bear's blood, and likewise by bull's dried 
and powdered. The finest remedy, however, is said 
to be the stone which the wild ass is reported to pass 
in his urine when he is being killed ; more fluid than 
it at first, it grows thick when on the ground. This 
stone fastened to the thigh as an amulet disperses all 
inflamed swellings and clears away any suppuration. 
It is found, however, rarely and not always in the wild 
ass, but it is wonderfully famous a as a remedy. 
Beneficial also is the urine of an ass with melanthium, 
a horse's hoof reduced to ash and applied with oil and 
water, the blood of a horse, especially of a stallion, 
and the blood or gall of an ox or cow. Beef too has 
the same effect if applied hot, the ash of the hoof in 
water or honey, the urine of she-goats, the flesh too 

and celebratur is perhaps nearer the MSS. reading than celebrant. 
Brakman's emendation is possibly right. 

147 



For theanus. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aut fimum ex his cum melle decoctum, fel verrinum, 
urina suum in lana inposita. femina adteri adurique 
equitatu notum est. utilissimum est ad omnes inde 
causas spumam equi ex ore inguinibus inlinere. 
inguina et ex ulcerum causa intumescunt. remedio 
sunt equi saetae tres totidem nodis alligatae intra 
iilcus. 

219 LXII. Podagris medetur ursinus adips taurinum- 
que sebum pari pondere et cerae. addunt quidam 
hypocisthidem et gallam. alii hircinum praeferunt 
sebum cum fimo caprae et croco, sinapi, item 1 caulibus 
hederae tritis ac perdicio vel flore cucumeris silvestris. 

220 item bovis fimum cum aceti faece magnificant et 
vituli qui nondum herbam gustaverit fimum aut per 
se sanguinem tauri, vulpem decoctam vivam donec 
ossa tantum restent, lupumve vivum oleo cerati modo 
incoctum, sebum hircinum cum helxines parte aequa. 
sinapis tertia, fimi caprini cinerem cum axungia. 
quin et ischiadicos uri sub pollicibus pedum eo fimo 
fervente utilissime tradunt, articulorumque vitiis fel 
ursinum utilissimum esse et pedes leporis adalligatos, 
podagras quidem mitigari pede leporis viventi absciso, 

221 si quis secum adsidue habeat. perniones ursinus adips 
rimasque pedum omnes sarcit. erficacius alumine ad- 
dito, sebum caprinum, dentium equi farina, aprunum 
vel suillum fel cum adipe, pulmo inpositus, etsi subtriti 
sint contunsive offensatione, si vero adusti frigore, 
leporini pili cinis, eiusdem pulmo contusis dissectus 

1 sinapi, item Mayhoff e Dioscoridc : sinapi vel Qdenius, 
Detlefsen : sinapii vel E : sinapi cuni d r. 

a I have adopted the emendation of Mayhoff, because he 
has some confirmatory evidence in Dioscorides and Plinius 
Junior. But in so amorphous a sentence any emendations 
are necessarily dubious. 
148 



BOOK XXVIII. lxi. 218-Lxii. 221 

of he-goats boiled down in water or their dung boiled 
down with honey, a boar's gall, and a pigs' urine 
applied on wool. It is well known that riding on a 
horse chafes and galls the inner side of the thighs ; 
most useful for all such troubles is to rub on the groin 
the foam from the mouth of a horse. The groin also 
swells because of sores ; the remedy is to tie within 
the sore three horse hairs with three knots. 

LXII. Gout is benefited by bear's grease and bull Forgout 
suet with an equal weight of wax as well ; to which compiaiZts. 
some add liypocisthis and gall nut. Others prefer 
he-goat suet with the dung of a she-goat and with 
saffron, mustard, pounded stalks of ivy, and perdi- 
cium or the blossom of wild cucumber. Highly 
praised also is ox dung with lees of vinegar and the 
dung of a calf that has not yet tasted grass, or, by 
itself, the blood of a bull, a fox boiled down alive until 
onlv the bones remain, or a wolf boiled alive in oil as 
though to make a wax-salve, he-goat's suet with an 
equal quantity of helxine, a third part of mustard, 
calcined goat's dung and axle-grease. Moreover, to 
put a burning-hot poultice of this dung under the big 
toes is said to be excellent for sciatica, and bear's gall 
very useful for diseases of the joints, as are also the 
feet of a hare worn as an amulet, while gouty pains 
are alleviated by a hare's foot, cut offfrom the living 
animal, if the patient carries it about continuously on 
the person. Chilblains and all chaps on the feet are 
healed by bear's grease, more efficaciously with the 
addition of alum, by goat suet, by a horse's teeth 
ground to powder, by the gall and fat of a wild boar 
or pig, by the lung applied to them even if they are 
chafed or broken by a knock, but if they are frost bites, 
by a hare's fur reduced to ash ; if they are broken. 

149 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

222 aut pulmonis cinis. sole adusta sebo asinino aptis- 
sime curantur, item bubulo cum rosaceo. clavos et 
rimas callique vitia fimum apri vel suis recens inlitum 
ac tertio die solutum sanat, talorum cinis, pulmo 
aprinus aut suillus aut cervinus, adtritus calciamen- 
torum urina asini cum luto suo inlita, clavos sebum 
bubulum cum turis polline, perniones vero corium 
conbustum, melius si ex vetere calciamento, iniurias 

223 e calceatu ex oleo corii caprini cinis. varicum 
dolores sedat fimi vitulini cinis cum lilii bulbis de- 
coctus addito melle modico, itemque omnia inrlam- 
mata et suppurationes minantia. eadem res et 
podagris prodest et articulariis morbis, e maribus 
praecipue vitulis, articulorum adtritis fel aprorum 
vel suum linteo calefacto inpositum, vituli qui nondum 
herbam gustaverit fimum, item caprinum cum melle 
in aceto decoctum. ungues scabros sebum vituli 
emendat, item caprinum admixta sandaraca. verru- 
cas vero aufert fimi vitulini cinis ex aceto, asini urina 
et lutum. 

224 LXIII. Comitiali morbo testes ursinos edisse pro- 
dest vel aprunos bibisse ex lacte equino aut ex 
aqua, item aprunam urinam ex aceto mulso, efficacius 
quae inaruerit in vesica sua. dantur et suum testi- 
culi inveterati tritique in suis lacte, praecedente vini 
abstinentia et sequente continuis ^denis) 1 diebus, 
dantur et leporis sale custoditi pulmones cum turis 

225 tertia parte in vino albo per dies XXX, item coagula 

1 denis coni. Mayhoff : om.coM. 



a It appears likely that the d of diebus has led to the 
oinission of a sign for decem or denis. 

'5° 



BOOK XXVIII. lxii. 221-lxiii. 225 

by the lung of the same animal cut up or reduced to 
ash. Sun burns are most beneficially treated by ass 
suet, and also bv suet of an ox or cow with rose oil. 
Corns, chaps, and calluses are cured by an application 
of fresh wild-boar's dung, or pig's, taken off on the 
third day, by their pastern bones reduced to ashes, 
by the lung of wild boar, pig, or deer ; chafing from 
shoes by the application of an ass's urine with the 
mud made by it ; corns by beef suet with powdered 
frankincense ; chilblains, however, by burnt leather, 
if from an old shoe so much the better, sores from 
foot-wear by the ash of goat leather in oil. The pains 
of varicose veins are alleviated by the ash of calf 's 
dung boiled down with the bulbs of a lily, with the 
addition of a little honey, and so are all inflamed 
places that threaten to suppurate. The same pre- 
paration is good for gout and diseases of the joints, 
especiallv if it is taken from a male calf, for chafed 
joints the gall of wild boars or of pigs applied in a 
heated linen cloth, the dung of a calf that has not 
tasted grass, also the dung of goats boiled down in 
vinegar with honey. Scabrous nails are cured by 
veal suet, also by goat suet mixed with sanderach. 
Warts however are removed by the ash of calf 's dung 
in vinegar, or by the urine with its mud of an ass. 

LXIII. For epilepsy it is beneficial to eat a bear's Farepiiepsy. 
testes or to take those of a wild boar in mare's milk or 
water, likewise wild-boar's urine in oxymel, with 
increased efficacy if it has dried in his bladder. There 
are also given the testicles of pigs dried and pounded 
in sow's milk, abstinence from wine preceding and 
following for <ten) ° days. There are also given the 
lungs of a hare preserved in salt, with a third part of 
frankincense, taken in white wine for thirty days ; 

151 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

eiusdem, asini cerebrum ex aqua mulsa, infumatum 
prius in foliis, semuncia per dies (V,y vel * ungularum 
eius cinis coclearibus binis toto mense potus, item 
testes sale adservati et inspersi potioni in asinarum 
maxime lacte vel ex aqua. membrana partus eaium, 
praecipue si marem pepererint, olefactata accedente 
morbo comitialium resistit. sunt qui e mare nigroque 
cor edendum cum pane sub diu prima aut secunda 
luna praecipiant, alii carnem, aliqui sanguinem 

226 aceto dilutum per dies XL bibendum. quidam 
urinam aquae ferrariae ex officinis miscent eademque 
potione et lymphatis medentur. comitialibus datur 
et lactis equini potus lichenque in aceto mulso biben- 
dus, dantur et carnes caprinae in rogo hominis tostae, 
ut volunt Magi, sebum earum cum felle taurino pari 
pondere decoctum et in folliculo fellis reconditum ita 
ne terram attingat, potum vero ex aqua sublime. 
morbum ipsum deprehendit caprini cornus vel cervini 
usti nidor. sideratis urina pulli asinini nardo admixto 
perunctione prodesse dicitur. 

227 LXIV. Regio morbo cornus cervini cinis, sanguis 
asini ex vino, item fimum asinini pulli quod primum 
edidit a partu datum fabae magnitudine e vino 

1 V, vel Hard. : vel Detlefsen, codd. : VII Mayhoff. 



a Again, the v of vel has led to the omission of the numeral. 

6 In Cato (LXX and LXXI) stare sublime means " to stand 
upright." For an epileptic to do so might be difficult. 

c Neither Littre nor the Bohn translator comments on this 
vague sentence. It is not clear how the presence of epilepsy 
is detected by this test. Possibly a fit is diagnosed as epileptic 
according as it reacts to the treatment. 

d See II. § 108. Sometimes sunstroke may be referred to 
by this term. Manv expressions in this chapter are curious. 
\Vhv for instance botfa testes and testicuW! Morbo comitialium 

J52 



BOOK XXVIII. lxiii. 225-Lxiv. 227 

likewise a hare's rennet, an ass's brain in hydromel, 
first smoked on burning leaves, half an ounce a day 
for <(five) ° days, or an ass's hoofs reduced to ash and 
two spoonfuls taken in drink for a whole month, like- 
wise his testes preserved in salt and sprinkled on 
drink, preferably on ass's milk, or on water. The 
odour of the after-birth of she-asses, especially if 
they have had a male foal, inhaled on the approach 
of a fit, repels it. There are some who recommend 
eating witti bread the heart of a black jackass in the 
open air on the first or second day of the moon, some 
ttie flesh, others drinking for forty days the blood 
diluted with vinegar. Certain people mix an ass's 
urine with smithy water in which hot iron has been 
dipped, and use the same draught to treat delirious 
raving. To epileptics is also given mare's milk to 
drink, the excrescence on a horse's leg taken in 
oxymel ; there is given too goat's flesh roasted on a 
funeral pyre, as ttie Magi would have it, goat suet 
boiled down with an equal weight of bull's gall stored 
in the gall bladder without touching the earth, and 
taken in water with the patient standing upright. 6 
The disease itself is detected by the fumes of burnt 
goat's horn or deer's horn. c Rubbing with the 
urine of an ass's foal mixed with nard is said to be 
beneficial to the planet-struck. d 

LXIV. Jaundice is cured within two days by p or 
deer's horn reduced to ash, by the blood of an ass, J a "" di ^- 
likewise by the dung of an ass's foal, the first to pass 
after birth/ of the size of a bean and taken in wine. 

is strange, and so is the apparent omission on two oceasions 
of a nunieral. One may add the vagueness rcferred to in 
note (c). 
' See § 200. 



PLINY: NATLRAL HISTORY 

medetur intra diem tcrtium. eadem et ex equino 
pullo similiterque x vis est. 

LXY. Fractis ossibus praesentaneus maxillarum 
apri cinis vel suis, item lardum elixum atque circum- 
ligatum mira celeritate solidat. costis quidem fractis 
laudatur unice caprinum fimum ex vino vetere, aperit, 
extrahit, persanat. 

228 LXYI. Febres arcet cervorum caro. ut diximus, eas 
quidem quae certo dierum numero redeunt oculus 
lupi dexter salsus adalligatusque, si credimus Magis. 
est genus febrium quod amphemerinon vocant. hoc 
liberari tradunt, si quis e vena auris asini tres guttas 
sanguinis in duabus heminis aquae hauserit. quar- 
tanis Magi excrementa felis cum digito bubonis 
adalligari iubent, et ne recidant non removeri 2 sep- 

229 teno circumitu. quis hoc, quaeso, invenire potuit ? 
quae est ista mixtura ? cur digitus potissimum bubonis 
electus est ? modestiores iocur felis decrescente 
luna occisae inveteratum sale ex vino bidendum 
ante accessiones quartanae dixere. iidem Magi fimi 
bubuli cinere consperso puerorum urina inlinunt digi- 
tos pedum manuumque. 3 leporis cor adalligant. co- 
agulum ante accessiones propinant. datur et caseus 
caprinus recens cum melle diligenter sero expresso. 

230 LXVII. Melancholicis fimum vituli in vino decoc- 
tum remedio est. lethargicos excitat asini lichen 

1 similiterque codd. et edd. : similiter vel fimi similiter dati 
coni. Mayhojf. 

2 Hic addendum nisi coni. Mayhoff. 

3 manuumque Mayhoff : manibusque rnhj. Detlefsen, d: 
manuusque VRE : mausque r. 



a Probably : removes any diseased matter before healing 
takes place. 

b See VIII. §119. 

*54 



BOOK XXVIII. lxiv. 227-Lxvii. 230 

The first dung too of a young colt, administered in a 
similar way, has the same effect. 

LXV. For broken bones a sovereign remedy is the £"«■ brokm 
ash of the jaw-bone of a wild boar or of a pig ; likewise 
boiled bacon-fat, tied round the fracture, heals with 
marvellous rapidity. For broken ribs however the 
highest praise is given to goat's dung in old wine ; 
it opens, extracts, a and completely heals. 

LXVI. Fevers are kept away by the flesh of deer, Forfevers. 
as I have said, b those indeed which return at fixed 
intervals by the salted right eye of a wolf worn as an 
amulet, if we are to believe the Magi. There is a 
kind of fever called " amphemerinos." c It is said 
that he is freed from this who drinks three drops of 
blood from an ass's ear in two heminae of water. For 
quartans the Magi prescribe the excrement of a cat 
with the claw of a horned owl worn as an amulet, and 
to prevent a relapse the amulet should not be removed 
before the seventh periodic return. Who pray could 
have made this diseovery ? What sort of combination 
is this ? Why was an owl's claw chosen rather than 
anything else ? Some more moderate people have 
prescribed the salted liver of a cat killed when the 
moon is on the wane, to be taken in wine before the 
access of a quartan. The Magi also apply to the 
toes and fingers ox or cow dung reduced to ash and 
sprinkled with children's urine. They use the heart 
of a hare as an amulet, and give hare's rennet before 
each access. There is also given with honey fresh 
goat's cheese with the whey carefully pressed out. 

LXVII. A remedy for melancholia a is calfs dung Formeian- 
boiled down in wine. Victims of lethargy d are c et °hargy and 

consump- 
e Greek for quotidian, i.e. returning every day. tion. 

d See List of Diseases. 

155 



PLINY: XATURAL HISTORY 

liarihus inlitus ex aceto, caprini cornus nidor aut 
pilorum, iocur aprunum. itaque et veternosis datur. 
phthisicis medentur iocur lupi ex vino macro, suis 
feminae herbis pastae laridum, carnes asininae ex 
iure sumptae. hoc genere maxime in Achaia curant 
id malum. fimi quoque aridi sed pabulo viridi pasto 
bove fumum harundine haustum prodesse tradunt, 
bubuli cornus mucronem exustum duorum coclearium 
mensura addito melle pilulis devoratis. caprae sebo 

231 in pulte alicacia et phthisim et tussim sanari, vel 
recenti, cum mulso liquefacto, ita ut uncia in cyathum 
addatur rutaeque ramo permisceatur, non pauci tra- 
dunt. rupicaprae sebi cyatho et lactis pari mensura 
deploratum phthisicum convaluisse certus auctor 
adfirmat. sunt et qui suum fimi cinerem profuisse 
scripserint in passo et cervi pulmonem, maxime subu- 
lonis, siccatum in x fumo tritumque in vino. 

232 LXVIII. Hydropicis auxiliatur urina e vesica capri 
paulatim data in potu, efficacius quae inaruerit cum 
vesica sua, fimi taurini maxime, sed et bubuli — de 
armentivis loquor, quod bolbiton vocant — cinis 
coclearium trium in mulsi hemina, bovis feminae in 
mulieribus, ex altero sexu in viris, quod veluti myste- 
rium occultarunt Magi, fimum vituli masculi inlitum, 
fimi vitulini cinis cum semine staphylini, aequa 

1 in del. Mayhoff, 

° Perhaps " certain." b For subulo see XI. § 213. 

156 



BOOK XXVIII. lxvii. 230-Lxvm. 232 

aroused by applying to the nostrils in vinegar the 
excrescence on the leg of an ass, by the fumes from 
goat's horns or goat's hair, and by wild boar's liver ; 
accordingly it is also administered to the comatose. 
Consumptives are benefited by wolfs liver in thin 
wine, by the lard of a sow fed on herbs, and by ass's 
flesh taken in its gravy. This treatment for the 
complaint is very popular in Achaia. The smoke also 
from dried dung of an ox fed on green fodder, inhaled 
through a reed, is said to be beneficial, or the burnt 
tip of the horn of an ox, the dose being two spoon- 
fuls, with the addition of honey, swallowed in pills. 
It is held by not a few authorities that by she-goat's 
suet in groat porridge consumption and cough are 
cured, or bv fresh suet melted with honey wine, an 
ounce of suet added to a cyathus of wine and stirred 
with a spray of rue. An authoritative ° writer 
assures us that a despaired-of consumptive has re- 
covered by being treated with a cyathus of mountain- 
goat suet and the same amount of the milk. Some 
have written that pig's dung reduced to ash, taken in 
raisin wine, has proved of value, or the lung of a stag, 
especially a subulo, 5 dried in smoke and pounded in 
wine. 

LXVIII. Good for dropsy is urine from the bladder Fordropty. 
of a wild boar given little by little in the drink, that 
being more beneficial which has dried up with its 
bladder, the ash of bull's dung especially but also 
that of oxen — herd animals I mean ; it is called 
bolbiton — three spoonfuls in a hemina of honey 
wine, cow dung for women, bull dung for men (the 
Magi have made a sort of mystery of this distinction), 
the dung of a bull calf applied locally, ash of calf dung 
with staphylinus seed in equal proportions taken in 

157 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

portione ex vino, sanguis caprinus cum medulla. 
emcaciorem putant liircinum utique si lentisco 
pascantur. 

233 LXIX. Igni sacro ursinus adips inlinitur, maxime 
qui est ad renes, vitulinum fimum recens vel bubulum, 
caseus caprinus siccus cum porro, ramenta pellis 
cervinae desecta pumice ex aceto trita, rubori cum 
prurigine equi spuma aut ungulae cinis, eruptionibus 
pituitae asinini fimi cinis cum butyro, papulis nigris 
caseus caprinus siccus ex melle et aceto in balneis, 
oleo remoto, pusulis suilli fimi cinis aqua inlitus vel 

234 cornus cervini cinis, LXX. luxatis recens fimum 
aprinum vel suillum, item vitulinum, verris spuma 
recens cum aceto, fimum caprinum cum melle, bubula 
caro inposita, ad tumores fimum suillum in testo 
calefactum tritumque cum oleo. duritias corporum 
omnes tollit optime adips e lupis inlitus. in his quae 
rumpere opus est plurimum proficit fimum bubulum 
in cinere calefactum aut caprinum in vino vel aceto 
decoctum, in furunculis sebum bubulum cum sale aut, 
si dolores sint, cum oleo liquefactum sine sale, simili 

235 modo caprinum, LXXI. in ambustis ursinus adips cum 
lilii radicibus, aprunum aut suillum fimum invetera- 
tum, saetarum ex his e penicillis tectoriis cinis cum 
adipe tritus, tali bubuli cinis cum cera et medulla cer- 
vina, fel tauri, fimum leporis, sed caprarum fimum * 

236 sine cicatrice sanare dicitur. glutinum praestantissi- 
mum fit ex auribus taurorum et genitalibus, nec quic- 

1 finium] " an fimi cinis ? " Mayhoff. 



a The punctuation of Mayhoff is attractive. He puts a 
full stop before sine and after glutinum, removing the one 
after dicitur. It has the support of Pliny Junior, but fimum 



158 



BOOK XXVIII. lxviii. 232-Lxxi. 236 

wine, and goat's blood with goat's marrow. That of 
a he-goat is considered more beneficial, especially if 
he has browsed on lentisk. 

LXIX. There is applied for erysipelas bear's fat, For variou 
especially that on the kidneys, fresh dung of calves dumses. 
or cattle, dried goat's cheese with leek, scrapings 
of deer's skin rubbed off with pumice and pounded 
in vinegar. For inflamed itch the foam of a horse 
or the ash of his hoof ; for pituitous eruptions ass's 
dung reduced to ash with butter ; for black pimples 
dried goat's cheese in honey and vinegar, applied 
in the bath, no oil being used, for pustules pig's 
dung reduced to ash and applied in water, or the 
ash of deer's horn, LXX. for dislocations the fresh Fordisio- 
dung of wild boar or of pig, or of calves, the fresh ^uralionT 
foam of a boar with vinegar, the dung of a goat with burns - 
honey, an application of beef, and for swellings pig's 
dung warmed in an earthen pot and beaten up 
with oil. All indurations of the body are best 
removed bv an application of wolf 's fat. In the case 
of sores that need to break the most beneficial 
application is ox dung warmed on hot cinders or 
goat's dung boiled down in wine or vinegar, for boils 
beef suet with salt, or if there is pain melted with oil 
without salt, similarly with goat suet ; LXXI. for 
burns bear's grease with lily roots, dried dung of wild 
boar or of pig, the ash of pig's bristles from plasterers' 
brushes beaten up with pig fat, the ash of the pastern 
bone of bull or cow with wax and deer marrow, bull's 
gall,hare's dung ; but the dung of she-goats is said to 
heal without a scar.° The finest glue is made from 
the ears and genitals of bulls, and there is no better 

leporis sed caprarum fimum contains a strange repetition of 
fimum. 

159 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quam efficacius prodest ambustis, sed adulteratur nihil 
aeque, quibusvis pellibus inveteratis calciamentisque 
etiam decoctis. Rhodiacum iidelissimum, eoque pic- 
tores et medici utuntur. id quoque quo candidius eo 
probatius, nigrum et lignosum damnatur. 

237 LXXII. Nervorum doloribus fimum caprinum de- 
coctum in aceto cum melle utilissimum putant vel 
putrescente nervo. spasmata et percussu vitiata 
fimo apruno curant vere collecto et arefacto, sic et 
quadrigas agentes tractos rotave vulneratos et quoquo 

238 modo sanguine contuso, vel si recens inlinatur. sunt 
qui incoxisse aceto utilius putent. quin et in potu 
farinam eam ruptis convulsisque et eversis ex aceto 
salutarem promittunt. recentiores * cinerem eius 
ex aqua bibunt, feruntque et Neronem principem hac 
potione recreari solitum, cum sic quoque se trigario 
adprobare vellet. proximam suillo fimo vim putant. 

239 LXXIII. Sanguinem sistit coagulum cervinum ex 
aceto, item leporis, huius quidem et pilorum cinis, 
item ex fimo asini cinis inlitus, efficacior vis e maribus 
aceto admixto et in lana ad omne profluvium inposito, 
similiter ex equino, capitis et feminum aut fimi vitu- 
lorum cinis inlitus ex aceto, item caprini cornus vel 

1 recentiores Hard. : reverentiores codd. 

" With the reading of the MSS., " more cautious." 
l6o 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxi. 236-Lxxm. 239 

remedy for burns, but it is more adulterated than any 
other, a decoction being made from any old skins and 
even from shoes. The most reliable glue comes from 
Rhodes, which is used by painters and physicians. 
The Rhodian too is the more approved the whiter it 
is; the dark and wood-like is rejected. 

LXXII. It is thought that for pains in the sinews, Forstrains, 
even if pus is present there, the most beneficial s P rains > 

. , r . , , ruptures. 

remedy is a decoction 01 goat s dung in vinegar with 
honey. Strains and injuries from a blow are treated 
with wild-boar's dung collected in spring and dried ; 
the same remedy is also good for charioteers who 
have been dragged along, or wounded bv a wheel, or 
bruised in any way, even if the dung is applied while 
fresh. There are some who think it more beneficial 
to boil the dung in vinegar. Moreover, they assure 
us that this dung, reduced to powder and taken in 
drink, is curative of ruptures and sprains ; for falls 
from vehicles it should be taken in vinegar. The 
more recent authorities a reduce it to ash and take 
in water, saying that even the Emperor Nero used 
to refresh himself with this draught, since he was 
ready even by this means to distinguish himself in 
the three-horse chariot-race. They think that the 
next most efficacious dung is that of pigs. 

LXXIII. Bleeding is stayed by deer's rennet in Forhaemor- 
vinegar, by hare's also, by the latter reduced to ash Thage - 
with the fur, also by the application of ass's dung 
reduced to ash — the effect is more powerful if the ass 
is male, vinegar mixed with the ash, and wool used 
for the application to any haemorrhage, horse dung 
being similarly used, by the head and thighs, 
or dung, of calves, reduced to ash and applied in 
vinegar, also by the ash in vinegar of goat's horn 

161 

VOL. VIII. G 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

240 fimi ex aceto. hircini vero iocineris dissecti sanies 
efficacior, et cinis utriusque 2 ex vino potus vel naribus 
ex aceto inlitus, hircini quoque utris, vinarii dum- 
taxat, cinis cum pari pondere resinae, quo genere 
sistitur sanguis et vulnus glutinatur. haedinum quo- 
que coagulum ex aceto et feminum eius combustorum 
cinis similiter pollere traduntur. 

241 LXXIV. Ulcera sanat in tibiis cruribusque ursinus 
adips admixta rubrica, quae vero serpunt fel aprunum 
cum resina et cerussa, maxillarum apri vel suum cinis, 
fimum suum inlitum siccum, item caprinum ex aceto 
subactum et subfervefactum. 2 cetera purgantur et 
explentur butyro, cornus cervini cinere vel medulla 
cervi, felle taurino cum cyprino aut fimo hircino. 3 
fimum recens suum vel inveterati farina inlinitur vul- 
neribus ferro factis. phagedaenis et fistulis inmittitur 
fel tauri cum suco porri aut lacte mulierum vel sanguis 

242 aridus cum cotyledone herba. carcinomata curat co- 
agulum leporis cum pari pondere capparis adspersum 
vino, gangraenas ursinum fel pinna inlitum, asini un- 
gularum cinis ea quae serpunt ulcera inspersus. 
sanguis equi adrodit carnes septica vi, item fimi 
equini inveterati favilla, ea vero quae phagedaenas 
vocant in ulcerum genere corii bubuli cinis cum melle. 
caro vituli recentia vulnera non patitur intumescere. 

243 fimum bubulum cum melle, fimi vitulini cinis sordida 

1 An sexus excidit ? 

2 subactum et subfervefactum Mayhoff ex Plinio Iuniore et 
Marcello : subfervefactum codd. 

3 aut fimo hircino Detlefsen : oleo aut irino Mayhojf ex 
Plinio Iuniore cum cod. d : varia codd. 



For sanies see Celsus, V. 26, 20. 
Has sexus fallen out here ? 



162 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxiii. 239-Lxxiv. 243 

or dung. The sanies, however, exuding from he- 
goat's liver when cut up is more efficacious, as is 
the liver of goats of either sex, 6 reduced to ash and 
taken in wine or applied to the nostrils in vinegar, or 
the leather of a he-goat, but only that of a wine bottle, 
reduced to ash and with an equal weight of resin, by 
wliich remedy bleeding is stayed and the wound 
closed. Kid's rennet also in vinegar and kid's thighs 
burnt to ash are reported to be similarly effective. 

LXXIV. Ulcers on the shins or shanks are healed Fortdcers 
by bear's grease mixed with ruddle, but spreading a f lstulae ' 
ulcers by wild boar's gall with resin and white lead, 
by the jaw-bones of wild boars or pigs reduced to 
ash, by the application of dried pigs'-dung, also by 
goat's dung, kneaded in vinegar and warmed. 
The other kinds of sores are cleansed and filled up 
by butter, by the ash of deer's horn or by deer's 
marrow, by bull's gall with cyprus oil or he-goat's 
dung. c To wounds inflicted with iron is applied 
pigs' dung, either fresh or dried and powdered. 
Injected into phagedaenic ulcers and fistulas is 
bull's gall with juice of leek or woman's milk, or else 
dried blood with the herb cotyledon. Cancerous 
sores are treated with hare's rennet and an equal 
weight of caper sprinkled in wine, gangrenes by 
bear's gall applied with a feather, spreading ulcers 
by the ash of ass's hoofs sprinkled over them. Flesh 
is eaten away by the corrosive action of horse's blood 
and by the ash of dried horse-dung, but the ulcers 
coming under the class they call phagedaenic by the 
ash of oxhide with honey. Veal prevents fresh 
wounds from swelling. Foul ulcers and those called 
malignant are healed by dung of ox or cow with 

e With MayhofFs reading : " cyprus oil and iris oil." 

163 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ulcera et quae cacoethe vocant e lacte mulieris sanant, 
recentes plagas ferro inlatas glutinum taurinum lique- 
factum, tertio die solutum. caseus caprinus siccus ex 
aceto ac melle purgat ulcera, quae vero serpant 
cohibet sebum cum cera, item addita pice ac sulpure 
percurat. similiter proticit ad cacoethe haedi femi- 
num cinis e lacte mulieris et adversus carbunculos suis 
feminae cerebrum tostum inlitumque. 

244 LXXV. Scabiem hominis asininae medullae maxime 
abolent et urina * eiusdem cum suo 2 luto inlita, 3 
butyrum etiam quod in iumentis proficit cum resina 
calida, glutinum taurinum in aceto liquefactum addita 
calce, fel caprinum cum aluminis cinere, bovas fimum 
bubulum, unde et nomen traxere. canum scabies 
sanatur bubulo sanguine recenti iterumque, cum 
inarescat, inlito et postero die abluto cinere lixivo. 

245 LXXVI. Spinae et similia corpori extrahuntur felis 
excrementis, item caprae ex vino, coagulo quocum- 
que, sed maxime leporis, cum turis polline et oleo aut 
cum visci pari pondere aut cum propoli. cicatrices 
nigras sebum asininum reducit ad colorem, fel vituli 
extenuat calefactum. medici adiciunt murram et 
mel et crocum aereaque puxide condunt. aliqui et 
florem aeris admiscent. 

246 LXXVII. Mulierum purgationes adiuvat fel tauri 
in lana sucida adpositum — Olympias Thebana addidit 
oesypum 4 et nitrum — cornus cervini cinis potus, item 

1 urina Mayhoff : urinae codd., Detlejsen. 

2 suo codd. : suillo Urlichs, Detlcjsen. 

3 inlita MayhoJJ : inlitae Detlejsen : inlito codd. 

4 oesypum vet. Dal. ex Dioscoride, MayhoJJ : hysopum 
Detlejsen, codd. 

a Bovae = " ox disease." 
164 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxiv. 243-Lxxvii. 246 

honey, or by the ash of calf 's dung in woman's milk, 
fresh wounds inflicted with iron by melted bull's 
glue, which is taken off on the third dav. Ulcers 
are cleansed bv dry goat's-cheese in vinegar and 
honey, while spreading ulcers are checked by goat 
suet with wax, and the addition of pitch and sulphur 
makes the cure complete. In a similar way malignant 
ulcers are improved by the ash of a kid's thighs in 
woman's milk, and for carbuncles are used a sow's 
brains, roasted and applied. 

LXXY. For itch in men the best cure is the Foritch. 
marrow of the ass, or ass's urine applied with its own 
mud, butter likewise, which with warm resin also 
benefits itch in draught animals, bull glue melted 
in vinegar and with lime added, goat gall with the 
ash of alum ; ox or cow dung is good for bovae, a 
whence comes the name of the disease. Itch in dogs 
is cured by the fresh blood of ox or cow, applied again 
when it is dry, and on the following day washed off 
with lye ash. 

LXXVI. Thorns and similar objects are extracted Forthoms, 
by a cat's excrements, also by a she-goat's in wine, juZh™ 1 
by any kind of rennet but especially by hare's with 
powdered frankincense and oil, or else with an equal 
weight of mistletoe, or with bee glue. Black scars 
are brought back to the original colour by ass's suet, 
and made fainter by warmed calf 's gall. Physicians 
add myrrh, honey and saffron, and keep in a bronze 
box ; some add to the mixture flower of bronze. b 

LXXVII. The purgings of women are aided by Forfemaie 
bull's gall applied as a pessary in unwashed wool — compiamts. 
Olympias, a woman of Thebes added suint and soda 
— by ash of deer's horn taken in drink, and uterine 
6 Red oxide of copper. 

165 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vulva laborantes inlitus quoque et fel taurinum cum 
opio adpositum obolis binis. vulvas et pilo cervino 
suffire prodest. tradunt cervas, cum senserint se 
gravidas, lapillum devorare, quem in excrementis 
repertum aut in vulva — nam et ibi invenitur — custo- 

247 dire partus adalligatum. inveniuntur et ossicula in 
corde et in vulva perquam utilia gravidis parturienti- 
busque. nam de pumice quae in vaccarum utero 
simili modo invenitur diximus in natura boum. lupi 
adips inlitus vulvas mollit, dolores earum iocur. car- 
nes lupi edisse parituris prodest, aut si incipientibus 
parturire sit iuxta qui ederit, adeo ut etiam contra in- 

248 latas noxias valeat. eundem supervenire pernitiosum 
est . magnus et leporis usus mulieribus. vulvas adiu- 
vat pulmo aridus potus, profluvia iocur cum Samia 
terra ex aqua potum, secundas coagulum — caventur 
pridiana balnea — inlitum quoque cum croco et porri 
suco, in * vellere adpositum abortus mortuos expellit. 
si vulva leporum in cibis sumatur, mares concipi put- 
ant, hoc et testiculis eorum et coagulo profici, concep- 
tum leporis utero exemptum his quae parere desierint 

249 restibilem fecunditatem adferre. sed pro conceptu 2 
leporis saniem et viro Magi propinant, item virgini 

1 in add. Mayhoff. 

2 sed pro conceptu E r d, Detlefsen : sic conceptus Mayhoff. 

a See XI. § 203. * Possibly " eat." 

166 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxvii. 246-249 

troubles by an application also of this, and by two- 
oboli pessaries of bull's gall and poppy juice. It is 
beneficial also to fumigate the uterus with deer's 
hair. It is reported that hinds, when they realise 
that they are pregnant, swallow a little stone which, 
found in their excrements or in the uterus — for it 
is found there also — prevents miscarriage if worn 
as an amulet. There are also found in the heart 
and in the uterus little bones that are very useful 
to women who are pregnant or in child-bed. But 
about the pumice-like stone which in a similar way 
is found in the uterus of cows I have spoken when 
dealing with the nature of oxen. a The uterus is 
softened by an application of wolf 's fat, pains there 
by wolf 's liver, but to have eaten b the flesh of the 
wolf is beneficial for women near deliverv, or at 
the beginning of labour the near presence of one 
who has eaten it, so much so that sorceries put 
upon the woman are counteracted. But for such a 
person to enter during delivery is a deadly danger. 
The hare is also of great use to women. The uterus 
is benefited by the dried lung taken in drink, fluxes 
by the liver taken in water with Samian earth, the 
after-birth is eased by hare's rennet — the bath must 
be avoided the day before — by the rennet applied also 
with saffron and leek juice; a pessary of it in raw 
wool brings away a dead foetus. If the uterus of the 
hare is taken in food, it is believed that males are 
conceived ; that the same result is obtained by eating 
its testicles and rennet ; that the foetus of a hare, 
taken from its uterus, brings a renewed fertility to 
women who are passed child-bearing. But the 
sanies of a hare is given by the Magi even to the 
male partner that conception may occur, and likewise 

167 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vi iii grana fimi ut stent perpetuo mammae. coagulo 
quoque ob id cum melle inlinunt, sanguinem ubi evol- 
sos pilos renasci nolunt. inflationi vulvae fimum 
aprunum suillumve cum oleo inlini prodest. efficacius 
sistit farina aridi, ut aspergatur potioni, vel si gravidae 

250 aut puerperae torqueantur. lacte suis poto cum 
mulso adiuvantur partus mulierum, per se vero potum 
deficientia ubera puerperarum replet. eadem cir- 
cumlita sanguine feminae suis minus crescent. si 
dolent, lactis asinini potu mulcentur, quod addito 
melle sumptum et purgationes earum adiuvat. sanat 
et vulvarum exulcerationes eiusdem animalis sebum 
inveteratum et in vellere adpositum duritias vulvarum 
emollit. per se vero recens vel inveteratum ex aqua 

251 inlitum psilotri vim optinet. eiusdem animalis lien 
inveteratus ex aqua inlitus mammis abundantiam 
facit, vulvas suffitu corrigit. ungulae asininae suffitio 
partum maturat ut vel abortus evocetur, nec aliter 
adhibentur, quoniam viventem partum necant. eius- 
dem animalis fimum si recens inponatur, profluvia 
sanguinis mire sedare dicitur, nec non et cinis eiusdem 

252 fimi, qui et vulvae prodest inpositus. equi spuma 
inlita per dies XL prius quam primum nascantur pili 
restinguntur, item cornus cervini decocto, melius, si 
recentia sint cornua. lacte equino iuvantur vulvae 
collutae. quod si mortuus partus sentiatur, lichen 



a Probably " fresh," " from a <lcer just killed." 
168 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxvii. 249-252 

to a maiden nine pellets of hare's droppings to make 
the breasts permanently firm. They also use for this 
purpose the rennet with honey as liniment, and the 
blood to prevent hairs plucked out from growing 
again. For inflation of the uterus it is benehcial to 
make with oil a liniment of wild boar's dung or pig's. 
More efficacious is the dried dung reduced to powder 
to sprinkle in the drink, even if the woman is suffering 
the pains of pregnancy or child-birth. By drinking 
sow's milk with honey wine child-birth is eased, while 
taken by itself it refills the drying breasts of nursing 
mothers. These swell less if rubbed round with a 
sow's blood. If they are painful thev are soothed bv 
drinking ass's milk, which taken with the addition of 
honey is also beneficial for the purgings of women. 
Ulcerations also of the uterus are healed by the dried 
suet of the same animal, which applied in raw wool 
as a pessary softens uterine indurations, while by itself 
either fresh or dried suet, applied in water, acts as a 
depilatory. Dried ass's spleen, applied in water to 
the breasts, produces an abundant supply of milk, 
and used in fumigation corrects displacement of the 
uterus. Fumigation with ass's hoofs hastens de- 
livery, so that even a dead foetus is extracted ; only 
then is the treatment applied, for it kills a living 
infant. Ass's dung applied fresh is said to be a 
wonderful reliever of fluxes of blood, as is also the 
ash of the same dung, an application which is also 
beneficial to the uterus. By horse's foam, applied 
for forty days before they tirst grow, hairs are 
prevented, also by a decoction of deer's horns, which 
is more benencial if the horns are new.° It is 
beneflcial to wash out the uterus with mare's milk. 
But if the foetus is felt to be dead, it is expelled by 

169 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

equae e dulci potus eicit, item ungula suffitu aut 
fimum aridum. vulvas procidentes butyrum infusum 
sistit. induratam vulvam aperit fel bubulum rosaceo 
admixto, foris vellere cum resina terebinthina in- 

253 posito. aiunt et suffitu fimi e mari bove procidentes 
vulvas reprimi, partus adiuvari, conceptus vero 
vaccini lactis potu. sterilitatem a partus vexatione 
fieri certum est. hanc emendari Olympias Thebana 
adfirmat felle taurino et adipe serpentium et aerugine 
ac melle medicatis locis ante coitus. vitulinum quo- 
que fel in purgationibus sub coitu adspersum vulvae 
etiam duritias ventris x emollit et profluvium minuit 
umbilico peruncto atque in totum vulvae prodest. 

254 modum statuunt fellis pondere denarii, opii tertiam 
admixto amygdalino oleo quantum satis esse ap- 
pareat, haec in vellere inponunt. masculi fel vituli 
cum mellis dimidio tritum servatur ad vulvas. car- 
nem vituli si cum aristolochia inassatam edant circa 
conceptum, mares parituras promittunt. medulla 
vituli in vino et aqua decocta cum sebo exulcerationi- 
bus vulvarum inposita prodest, item adips vulpium 
excrementumque felium, hoc cum resina et rosaceo 

255 inpositum. caprino cornu suffiri vulvam utilissimum 
putant. silvestrium caprarum sanguis cum palma 
marina pilos detrahit, ceterarum vero fel callum 

1 ventris codd., Detlefsen : veteres Mayhoff. 

a MayhofPs emendation of ventris to veteres (" chronic 
indurations of the uterus ") is attractivc because it allows 
vulvae to be taken with duritias, and also avoids the appar- 
ently irrelevant introduction of ventris in a list of female 
complaints. On the other hand, with tbi.s reading one would 
expect etiam to come immediately before veteres. Perhaps 
ventris emphasizes the general efficacy of calfs gall as a 
softener. 

170 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxvii. 252-255 

taking in fresh water the excrescence from the leg 
of a mare, also by fumigation with the hoof or the 
dried dung. An injection of butter stays prolapsus 
of the uterus. A hardened uterus is opened by ox 
gall mixed with rose oil, with an external application 
of terebinth resin on unwashed wool. They say that 
prolapsus of the uterus is corrected also by fumigation 
with the dung of an ox, that delivery is aided, and 
conception also, by drinking cow's milk. It is certain 
that sterility may result from sufferings at child-birth. 
This kind of barrenness, we are assured by Olympias 
of Thebes, is cured by bull's gall, serpents' fat, copper 
rust and honey, rubbed on the parts before inter- 
course. Calfs gall also, sprinkled on the uterus 
during menstruation just before intercourse, softens 
even indurations of the bowels, checks the flow if 
rubbed on the navel, and is generally beneficial to the 
uterus. The amount of gall prescribed is a denarius 
by weight : this and a third part of poppy juice, 
with as much almond oil as seems to be called for. 
The mixture is laid on unwashed wool. A bull-caif 's 
gall beaten up with half the quantity of honey is 
stored away for uterine compiaints. If women 
about the time of conception eat roasted veal with 
aristolochia, they are assured that they will bring 
forth a male child. A calfs marrow, boiled down 
in wine and water with calfs suet and applied to 
an ulcerated uterus, is beneficial, as is the fat of 
foxes with the excrement of cats, the last being 
applied with resin and rose oil. It is thought that 
to fumigate the uterus with goat's horn is very bene- 
ficial. The blood of wild she-goats with sea palm 
acts as a depilatory, while of other she-goats the 
gall softens callus of the uterus if sprinkled on it, 

171 



PLINY: NATUllAL HISTORY 

vulvarum emollit inspersum et a purgatione con- 
ceptus facit. sic quoque psilotri vis efficitur, evulsis 
pilis triduo servatur inlitum. profluvium quamvis 
inmensum urina caprae pota sisti obstetrices promit- 
tunt, et si fimum inlinatur. membrana caprarum in 
qua partus editur inveterata potuque sumpta in vino 

256 secundas pellit. haedorum pilis suffiri vulvas utile 
putant et in profluvio sanguinis coagulum bibi aut 
cum l hyoscyami semine inponi. e bove silvestri 
nigro si sanguine ricini lumbi perungantur mulieri, 
taedium veneris fieri dicit Osthanes, idem amoris 
potu hirci urinae admixto propter fastidium nardo. 

257 LXXVIII. Infantibus nihil butyro utilius per se et 
cum melle, privatim et in dentitione et ad gingivas et 
ad oris ulcera. dens lupi adalligatus infantium 
pavores prohibet dentiendique morbos, quod et pellis 
lupina praestat — dentes quidem eorum maximi equis 
quoque adalligati infatigabilem cursum praestare 

258 dicuntur. leporum coagulo ubere inlito sistitur infan- 
tium alvus. iocur asini admixta modice panace in- 
stillatum in os a comitialibus morbis et aliis infantes 
tuetur; hoc XL diebus fieri praecipiunt. et pellis 
asini iniecta inpavidos infantes facit. dentes qui 
equis primum cadunt facilem dentitionem praestant 
adalligati infantibus, efficacius, si terram non attigere. 

1 Ante hyoscyami add. cum Mayhojf. 
172 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxvii. 255-Lxxvm. 258 

and after a menstvuation causes conception ; such an 
application also acts as a depilatory ; after the hairs 
are pulled out it is kept on for three days. Midwives 
assure us that a flux, however copious, is stayed by 
drinking the urine of a she-goat, or if an application 
is made of her dung. The membrane that covers the 
new-born oifspring of she-goats, kept till dry and 
taken in wine, brings away the after-birth. To fumi- 
gate the uterus with the hairs of kids is thought to be 
beneficial, and it is so for a flux of blood if kid's rennet 
is taken in drink, or applied locally with seed of 
hyoscyamus. Osthanes says that if the loins of a 
woman are rubbed thoroughly with the blood of a 
tick from a black wild-buil, she will be disgusted 
with sexual intercourse, and also with her love if 
she drinks the urine of a he-goat, nard being added 
to disguise the foul taste. 

LXXVIII. For babies nothing is more beneficial Treatment 
than butter, either by itself or with honey, especially 
when they are troubled with teething, sore gums, or 
ulcerated mouth. The tooth of a wolf tied on as an 
amulet keeps away childish terrors and ailments 
due to teething, as does also a piece of wolf 's skin. 
Indeed the largest teeth of wolves tied as an amulet 
even on horses are said to give them unwearied power 
of speed. Hare's rennet applied to the mothers' 
breasts checks the diarrhoea of babies. Ass's liver 
mixed with a moderate amount of panaces and let 
drip into the mouth protects babies from epilepsy and 
other diseases ; the treatment, it is prescribed, should 
continue for forty days. Ass's hide laid 011 babies 
keeps them free from fears. The first teeth of horses 
to fall out make the cutting of teeth easy for babies 
who wear them as an amulet, a more efficacious one 

173 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

259 lien bubulus in melle et datur et inlinitur ad lienis 
dolores, a.6. 1 ulcera manantia cum melle ** lien vituli 
in vino decoctus tritusque et inlitus ulcuscula oris. 
cerebrum caprae Magi per anulum aureum traiectum 
prius quam lac detur infantibus instillant contra 
comitiales ceterosque infantium morbos. caprinum 
fimum inquietos infantes adalligatum panno cohibet, 
maxime puellas. lacte caprino aut cerebro leporum 
perunctae gingivae faciles dentitiones faciunt. 

260 LXXIX. Somnos fieri lepore sumpto in cibis Cato 
arbitrabatur, vulgus et gratiam corpori in VI III dies, 
frivolo quidem ioco, cui tamen aliqua debeat subesse 
causa in tanta persuasione. Magi felle caprae, 
sacrificatae dumtaxat, inlito oculis vel sub pulvino 
posito somnum allici dicunt. sudores inhibet cornus 
caprini cinis ex myrteo oleo perunctis. 

261 LXXX. Coitus stimulat fel aprunum inlitum, item 
medullae suum haustae, sebum asininum anseris 
masculi adipe admixto inlitum, item a coitu equi a 
Vergilio quoque descriptum virus et testiculi equini 
aridi ut potioni interi possint dexterve asini testis in 
vino potus, portione 2 vel adalligatus bracchiali, eius- 
dem a coitu spuma collecta russeo panno et inclusa 

262 argento, ut Osthanes tradit. Salpe genitale in oleum 
fervens mergi iubet septies eoque perungui perti- 

1 ad codd.: sedat Mayhoff : post melle lacunam indicat 
Sillig. 

2 portione del. Warmington ex potioni ortum. Vide tamen 
Onnerfors, Pliniana pp. 166, 167. 



a With Mayhoffs reading : " running sores are soothed by 
etc." 

b The pun is on lepus " hare " and lepos " charm." 
r See Georgics III 280. 

174 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxviii. 259-Lxxx. 262 

if the teeth have not touched the ground. Ox 
spleen in honey is administered internally and 
externally for painful spleen ; for running sores ° 
with honey . . . a calfs spleen boiled in wine, 
beaten up, and applied to little sores in the mouth. 
The brain of a she-goat, passed through a golden 
ring, is given drop by drop by the Magi to babies, 
before they are fed with milk, to guard them from 
epilepsy and other diseases of babies. Restless 
babies, especially girls, are quietened by an amulet 
of goat's dung wrapped in a piece of cloth. Rubbing 
the gums with goafs milk or hares' brains makes 
easy the cutting of teeth. 

LXXIX. Cato thought that to take hare as food is Soporifics. 
soporific, and a popular belief is that it also adds 
charm to the person for nine days, a flippant pun. 6 
but so strong a belief must have some justification. 
According to the Magi the gall of a she-goat — she 
must be an animal sacrificed — induces sleep if applied 
to the eyes or placed under the pillow. Sweats are 
checked by rubbing the body with myrtle oil and 
ash of goat's horn. 

LXXX. Aphrodisiacs are : an application of wild- 
boar's gall, pig's marrow swallowed, or an application 
of ass's suet mixed with a gander's grease ; also the 
fluid that Yirgil c too describes as coming from a mare 
after copulation, the testicles of a horse, dried so 
that they may be powdered into drink, the right 
testis of an ass taken in wine, or a portion of it worn 
as an amulet on a bracelet ; or the foam of an ass 
after copulation, collected in a red cloth and enclosed, 
as Osthanes tells us, in silver. Salpe prescribes an 
ass's genital organ to be plunged seven times into hot 
oil, and the relevant parts to be rubbed therewith, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nentes partes, Dalion cinerem ex eodem bibi vel 
tauri a coitu urinam, luto ipso inlini pubem. at e 
diverso muris * fimo inlito cohibetur virorum venus. 
ebrietatem arcet pulmo apri aut suis assus, ieiuni 2 
cibo sumptus eo die, item haedinus. 

263 LXXXI. Mira praeterea traduntur in isdem 
animalibus : vestigium equi excussum ungula, ut 
solet plerumque, si quis collectum reponat, singultus 
remedium esse recordantibus quonam loco id repo- 
suerint, iocur luporum equinae ungulae simile esse et 
rumpi equos qui vestigia luporum sub equite sequan- 
tur, talis suum discordiae vim quandam inesse, in 
incendiis, si fimi aliquid egeratur e stabulis, facilius 
extrahi nec recurrere oves bovesque, hircorum carnes 

264 virus non resipere, si panem hordeacium eo die quo 
interficiantur ederint laserve dilutum biberint, nullas 
vero teredinem sentire luna decrescente induratas 
sale. adeoque nihil omissum est ut leporem surdum 
celerius pinguescere reperiamus, animalium vero 

265 medicinas : si sanguis profluat iumentis, suillum 
fimum ex vino infundendum, boum autem morbis 
sebum, sulpur vivum, alium silvestre concoctum, 3 trita 
in vino danda aut vulpis adipem ; carnem caballinam 

1 muris vulg., Detlefsen : tauri Mayhoff : muri codd. : 
fortasse muli. 

2 ienuni codd., Detlefsen : ieiunis in C. F. W. Muller, 
Mayhoff. 

3 concoctum T, Silhg, Detlefsen : ovum crudum Mayhoff, 
qui ovum non coctum coni. : ovum coctum vulg. 



a With MayhofFs reading : " bulTs." 

6 The emendation of C. F. W. Miiller is more normal thau 
the readiug of the MSS., but the latter can just be construed 
with the same sense. 



I 7 6 



animals. 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxx. 262-Lxxxi. 265 

Dalion the ash from it to be taken in drink, or the 
urine of a bull after copulation to be drunk, or the 
mud itself made by it applied to the pubic parts. On 
the other hand antaphrodisiac for men is an applica- 
tion of mouse's ° dung. Intoxication is kept away 
by the roasted lung of a wild boar or pig, taken in 
food the same day on an empty stomach, & or the 
lung used may be that of a kid. 

LXXXI. In addition, wonderful things are re- Beiiefi about 
ported of the same animals c : that if a horse casts 
his shoe, as often happens, and some one picks it up 
and puts it away, it is a cure of hiccoughs in those 
who remember where they have put it ; that a wolf 's 
liver is like a horse's hoof ; that horses burst them- 
selves which, carrying a rider, follow the tracks of 
wolves ; that there is a kind of quarrelsome force in 
the pastern bones of pigs ; that if, in case of fire, a 
little dung is brought out of the stables, sheep and 
oxen are more easily pulled out and do not run 
back ; that the flesh of he-goats does not taste 
strong if on the day they are killed they have eaten 
barley bread or drunk diluted laser d ; that no meat, 
salted when the moon is on the wane, is eaten by 
maggots. So much care has been taken to leave 
nothing out, that I find that a deaf hare fattens more 
quickly, and that there are also medicines made for 
animals : it is prescribed that if draught cattle suffer 
from haemorrhage, there should be injected pig's 
dung in wine ; and that for the diseases of oxen 
suet, native sulphur, and a decoction of wild garlic, 
should all be pounded and given in wine, or else fox 

e Or, " also of anirnals." 

d Or, " an infusion of laser." It depends whether the juice 
or the plant is meant by " laser." 

177 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

discoctam potu suum morbis mederi, omnium vero 
quadripedum morbis capram solidam cum corio et 
rana rubeta discoctam, gallinaceos non attingi a 
vulpibus qui iocur animalis eius aridum ederint, vel 
si pellicula ex eo collo induta galli inierint, similiter 

266 in felle mustelae, boves in Cypro contra tormina 
hominum excrementis sibi mederi, non subteri pedes 
boum, si prius cornua ima pice liquida perunguantur, 
lupos in agrum non accedere, si capti unius pedibus 
infractis cultroque adacto paulatim sanguis circa fines 
agri spargatur atqne ipse defodiatur in eo loco ex quo 

267 coeperit trahi, aut si vomerem quo primus sulcus eo 
anno in agro ductus sit excussum aratro focus Larum 
quo familia convenit x exurat, lupum nulli animalium 
nociturum in eo agro quam diu id fiat. hinc deinde 
praevertemur ad animalia sui generis quae aut 
placida non sunt aut fera. 

1 convenit] conveniet codd., Maykojf. 



i 7 8 



BOOK XXVIII. lxxxi. 265-267 

fat ; that horse flesh thoroughly boiled and taken in 
drink cures the diseases of pigs, while those of all 
quadrupeds are cured by a she-goat boiled whole 
with the hide and a bramble toad ; that chickens are 
not touched by foxes if they have eaten dried fox- 
liver, or if the cocks have trodden the hens wearing 
a piece of fox skin round their necks ; similarly with 
a weasel's gall ; that the oxen in Cyprus eat human 
excrement to cure themselves of colic ; that the hoofs 
of oxen are not chafed underneath if the bases of their 
horns are first rubbed with liquid pitch ; that wolves 
do not enter a field if one is caught, his legs broken, 
a knife driven into the body, the blood sprinkled 
a little at a time around the boundaries of that field, 
and the body itself buried in that place at which 
the dragging of it began ; or if the share, with which 
that year the first furrow of that field was cut, is 
knocked from the plough and burnt 011 the hearth 
of the Lares where the family assemble, a wolf will 
harm no animal in that field so long as the custom is 
kept up. We will now turn to animals in a peculiar 
class by themselves, which are not either tame or 
wild. 



79 



BOOK XXIX 



LIBER XXIX 

I. Natura remcdiorum atque multitudo instantium 
ac praeteritorum plura de ipsa medendi arte cogunt 
dicere, quamquam non ignarus sim, nulli ante haec 
Latino sermone condita ancepsque iudicium x esse 
rerum omnium novarum, talium 2 utique tam sterilis 
gratiae tantaeque difficultatis in promendo. sed 
quoniam 3 occurrere verisimile est omnium qui haec 
noscant cogitationi, quonam modo exoleverint in 
medicinae usu quae iam parata atque pertinentia 
erant, mirumque et indignum protinus subit nullam 
artium inconstantiorem fuisse aut etianmunc saepius 
mutari, cum sit fructuosior nulla. dis primum inven- 
tores suos adsignavit et caelo dicavit. nec non et 
hodie multifariam ab oraculis medicina petitur. auxit 
deinde famam etiam crimine, ictum fulmine Aescu- 
lapium fabulata, quoniam Tyndareum revocavisset ad 
vitam. nec tamen cessavit narrare alios revixisse 
opera sua clara Troianis temporibus, quibus fama 
certior, vulnerum tamen dumtaxat remediis. 

II. Sequentia eius, mirum dictu, in nocte densis- 
sima latuere usque ad Peloponnesiacum bellum. 

1 iudicium Detlefsen : lubricum Mayhoff : ac lubricum d T. 
- t;ilium E Gel., Detlefsen : exordium Mayhoff : et talium 
RdTf : et alium r : et italicum V : artium coni. Warmington. 
3 quoniam codd., Detlefsen : quaestionem Mayhoff. 

a Pliny seems to forget Scriboniue Largus (if he knew him) 
and Celsus. 
182 



BOOK XXIX 

I. The nature of remedies, and the great number Eariy 
of those already described or waiting to be described, medicine - 
compel me to say more about the art of medicine 
itself, although I am aware that no one hitherto has 
treated the subject in Latin, a and that the judgement 
passed on all new endeavours is uncertain, especially 

on such as are barren of all charm, and the difficulty 
of setting them forth is so great. But since it is 
likely to come into the minds of all students of the 
subject to ask why ever things ready to hand and 
appropriate have become obsolete in medical practice, 
the thought occurs at once that it is both a wonder 
and a shame that none of the arts has been more 
unstable, or even now more often changed, although 
none is more profitable. To its pioneers medicine 
assigned a place among the gods and a home in 
heaven, and even today medical aid is in many ways 
sought from the oracle. Then medicine became 
more famous even through sin, for legend said that 
Aesculapius was struck by lightning for bringing 
Tyndareus back to life. But medicine did not 
cease to give out that by its agency other men had 
come to life again, being famous in Trojan times, 
in which its renown was more assured, but only 
for the treatment of wounds. 

II. The subsequent story of medicine, strange to 
say, lay hidden in darkest night down to the Pelopon- 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tunc eam revocavit in lucem Hippocrates genitus in 
insula Coo in primis clara ac valida et Aesculapio 
dicata. is, cum fuissct mos liberatos morbis scribere 
in templo eius dei quid auxiliatum esset, ut postea 
similitudo proficeret, exscripsisse ea traditur, atque, 
ut Varro apud nos credit, templo cremato instituissc 
medicinam hanc quae clinice vocatur. ncc fuit postea 
quaestus modus, quoniam Prodicus x Selymbriae 
natus, e discipulis eius, instituit quam vocant iatra- 
lipticen et unctoribus quoque medicorum ac medi- 
astinis vectigal invenit. 

III. Horum placita Chrysippus ingenti garrulitate 
mutavit plurimumque et ex Chrysippo discipulus eius 
Erasistratus Aristotelis filia genitus. hic Antiocho 
rege sanato centum talentis donatus est a rege 
Ptolomaeo filio eius, ut incipiamus et praemia artis 
ostendere. 

IV. Alia factio ab experimentis se cognominans 
empiricen coepit in Sicilia. Acrone Agragantino 
Empedoclis physici auctoritate commendato. V. 
dissederuntque hae scholae, et omnes eas damnavit 
Herophilus in musicos pedes venarum pulsu discripto 
per aetatum gradus. deserta deinde et haec secta 

1 Prodicus] Coni. Herodicus Dal. 



° It is thought that Pliny should have said Herodicus, who 
was the teacher, not the pupil, of Hippocrates, 

b A celebrated Cnidian physician of the early third century 
b.c. Perhaps Pliny, with his ingenti garrulitate, has confused 
this physician with the Stoic philosopher, a prolific writcr who 
lived about the same time. 

c Really the adoptcd son. 



184 



BOOK XXIX. ii. 4-v. 6 

nesian War, when it was restored to the light by 
Hippocrates, who was born in the very famous and Hippocraies. 
powerful island of Cos, sacred to Aesculapius. It had 
been the custom for patients recovered from illness to 
inscribe in the temple of that god an account of the 
help that they had received, so that affcerwards similar 
remedies might be enjoyed. Accordingly Hippo- 
crates, it is said, wrote out these inscriptions, and, as 
our countryman Varro believes, after the temple had 
been burnt, founded that branch of medicine called 
" clinical." Afterwards there was no limit to the 
profit from medical practice, for one of the pupils of 
Hippocrates, Prodicus, a born in Selymbria, founded The 
iatraliptice (" ointment cure "), and so discovered ^pTcllul. 
revenue for the anointers even and drudges of the 
doctors. 

III. Changes from their tenets were made, with a 
flood of verbiage, by Chrysippus, 6 and from Chrysip- 
pus also a violent change was made by his pupil 
Erasistratus, a son c of the daughter of Aristotle. 
For curing King Antiochus he received a hundred 
talents from King Ptolemy, his son, to begin my 
account of the prizes also of the profession. 

IV. Another medical clique, calling themselves 
" Empirics " because they relied on experience, 
arose in Sicily, where Acron of Agrigentum received 
support from Empedocles, the physical scientist. 
V. These schools disagreed with each other, and 
were all condemned by Herophilus, d who divided 
pulsation into rhythmic feet for the various periods 
of life. Then this sect also was abandoned, because 
it was necessary for its members to have book- 

d A famous physician of Alexandria, who was the first to 
count pulses. 

1*5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

est, quoniam necesse erat in ea litteras scire. niutata 
et quam postea Asclepiades, ut rettulimus, invenerat. 
auditor eius Themison fuit,seque inter initia adscripsit 
illi. mox procedente vita 1 sua et 2 placita mutavit, 
sed et illa Antonius Musa eiusdem auditor 3 auctori- 
tate divi Augusti quem contraria medicina gravi 

7 periculo exemerat. multos praetereo medicos cele- 
berrimosque ex his Cassios, Calpetanos, Arruntios, 
Rubrios. ducena quinquagena HS annuales 4 mer- 
cedes fuere apud principes. Q. Stertinius inputavit 
principibus quod sestertiis quingenis annuis contentus 
esset, sescena enim sibi quaestu urbis fuisse enumera- 

8 tis domibus ostendebat. par et fratri eius merces a 
Claudio Caesare infusa est, censusque, quamquam 
exhausti operibus Neapoli exornata, heredi HS ccc 
reliquere, quantum aetate eadem 5 Arruntius solus. 
exortus deinde est Vettius Valens adulterio Messa- 
linae Claudii Caesaris nobilitatus pariterque elo- 
quentia. 6 adsectatores et potentiam nanctus novam 
instituit sectam. eadem aetas Neronis principatu ad 

9 Thessalum transilivit delentem cuncta placita et 
rabie quadam in omnis aevi medicos perorantem, 
quali prudentia ingenioque aestimari vel uno argu- 

1 vita vulg. : vitia codd. 

2 suaetVRTf: ad sua E Detlefsen : s>u&d,vulg.: cm etsua? 

3 auditor] om. codd., excidisse putat Mayhoff. 

4 annuales dTf : annua his E Detlefsen : annuae iis May- 
hoff. 

5 aetate eadem Ianus, Mayhoff : Athenaidi coni. Detlefsen 
Athena id est E vulg. : Athenade R : Athena dens d. 

6 eloquentiae adsectatores et potentiae Maijhoff. 

a He used cold baths instead of hot. 

b Those were probably Greeks, in spite of their Roman 
names. 

186 



BOOK XXIX. v. 6-9 

learning, and that sect also was changed that 
afterwards had been founded, as I have related, by 
Asclepiades. He had a pupil called Themison, who Aseiepiades 
at first followed his master, but then later in life he 
also changed his tenets, a further change being made 
by Antonius Musa, another pupil of Asclepiades, 
with the support of the late Emperor Augustus, 
whose life in a dangerous illness he had saved by 
reversing the treatment. I pass over many famous 
physicians, among them men like Cassius, Calpetanus, 
Arruntius and Rubrius. & Two hundred and fifty Physitians' 
thousand sesterces were their annual incomes c from 
the Emperors. Q. Stertinius said that the Emperors 
were in his debt because he had been content with an 
income of five hundred thousand sesterces a year, 
proving by a counting of homes that his city practice 
had brought in six hundred thousand. A like fortune 
also was showered by Claudius Caesar upon his 
brother, and the estates, although exhausted by 
beautifying Naples with buildings, left to the heir 
thirty million, Arruntius alone in the same age 
leaving as much. Then there arose Vettius Valens, 
celebrated for his intrigue with Messalina, wife of 
Claudius Caesar, and equally so for his eloquence. 
Chancing to gain followers and power he founded a 
new sect. The same generation in the principate of 
Nero rushed over to Thessalus, who swept away all Thessaim. 
received doctrines, and preached against the 
physicians of every age with a sort of rabid frenzy. 
The wisdom and talent he showed can be fully 
judged even by one piece of evidence : on his monu- 

c The reading annuales has such strong support (R too has 
anulis) that with much misgiving I retain it. 

187 



PLINY: NATUKAL HISTORY 

mento abunde potest, cum monumento suo, quod est 
Appia via, iatronicen se inscripserit. nullius histrio- 
num equorumque trigarii comitatior egressus in 
publico erat, cum Crinas Massiliensis arte geminata, 
ut cautior religiosiorque, ad siderum motus ex 
ephemeride mathematica cibos dando horasque 
observando auctoritate eum praecessit, nuperque 
HS c reliquit, muris patriae moenibusque aliis paene 

10 non minore summa extructis. hi regebant fata, cum 
repente civitatem Charmis ex eadem Massilia invasit 
damnatis non solum prioribus medicis verum et bal- 
neis, frigidaque etiam hibernis algoribus lavari persua- 
sit. mersit aegros in lacus. videbamus senes con- 
sulares usque in ostentationem rigentes, qua de re 

11 exstat etiam Annaei Senecae adstipulatio. nec 
dubium est omnes istos famam novitate aliqua aucu- 
pantes anima statim nostra negotiari. hinc illae 
circa aegros miserae sententiarum concertationes, 
nullo idem censente, ne videatur accessio alterius. 
hinc illa infelix monumentis inscriptio, turba se 
medicorum perisse. mutatur ars cottidie totiens 
interpolis, et ingeniorum Graeciae flatu inpellimur, 
palamque est, ut quisque inter istos loquendo polleat. 



° See Epistles VI. 1,3 and XII. 1, 5. 

b Or, " ominous." 
e Or, " breeze from." 



188 



BOOK XXIX. v. 9-1 1 

ment on the Appian Way he described himself as 
iatronices, " the conqueror of physicians." No actor, 
no driver of a three-horse chariot, was attended by 
greater crowds than he as he walked abroad in public, 
when Crinas of Massilia united medicine with another 
art, being of a rather careful and superstitious nature, 
and regulated the diet of patients by the motions of 
the stars according to the almanacs of the astrono- 
mers, keeping watch for the proper times, and out- 
stripped Thessalus in influence. Recently he left ten 
millions, and the sum he spent upon building the 
walls of his native city and other fortifications was 
almost as much. These men were ruling our 
destinies when suddenly the state was invaded bv 
Charmis, also from Massilia, who condemned not 
only previous physicians but also hot baths, per- 
suading people to bathe in cold water even during 
the winter frosts. His patients he plunged into 
tanks, and we used to see old men, consulars, actually 
stiff with cold in order to show off. Of this we 
have today a confirmation even in the writings of 
Annaeus Seneca. There is no doubt that all these, 
in their hunt for popularity by means of some 
novelty, did not hesitate to buy it with our lives. 
Hence those wretched, quarrelsome consultations at 
the bedside of the patient, no consultant agreeing 
with another lest he should appear to acknowledge 
a superior. Hence too that gloomy b inscription on 
monuments : " It was the crowd of physicians that 
killed me." Medicine changes every day, being 
furbished up again and again, and we are swept 
along on the puffs c of the clever brains of Greece. 
It is obvious that anyone among them who acquires 
power of speaking at once assumes supreme command 



PLINY: XATURAL HISTORY 

iniperatorem illieo vitae nostrae necisque fieri, ceu 
vero non milia gentium sine medicis degant nec 
tamen sine medicina, sicuti p. R. ultra sexcentesimum 
annum, neque ipse in accipiendis artibus lentus, medi- 
cinae vero etiam avidus, donec expertam damnavit. 

12 VI. Etenim percensere insignia priscorum in liis 
moribus convenit. Cassius Hemina ex antiquissimis 
auctor est primum e medicis venisse Romam Pelopon- 
neso Archagathum Lysaniae filium L. Aemilio M. 
Livio cos. anno urbis DXXXV, eique ius Quiritium 
datum et tabernam in compito Acilio emptam ob id 

13 publice. vulnerarium eum fuisse tradunt, 1 mireque 
gratum adventum eius initio, mox a saevitia secandi 
urendique transisse nomen in carnificem et in taedium 
artem omnesque medicos, quod clarissime intellegi 
potest ex M. Catone, cuius auctoritati triumphus 
atque censura minimum conferunt, tanto plus in ipso 
est. quamobrem verba eius ipsa ponemus : 

14 VII. Dicam de istis Graecis suo loco, M. fili. 2 
quid Athenis exquisitum habeam et quod bonum sit 
illorum litteras inspicere, non perdiscere, vincam. 
nequissimum et indocile genus illorum, et hoc puta 
vatem dixisse : quandoque ista gens suas litteras 

1 tradunt vulg., Detlefsen : egregium Mayhoff : credunt 
codd. 

2 Mayhoff hoc modo distinguit : post fili comma, post per- 
discere punctum; post vincam punclum delet; evincam coni. 



a 219 b.c. 

b With the reading of Mayhoff : " He also says that 
Archagathus was an excellent surgeon, etc." 

190 



BOOK XXIX. v. ii-vii. 14 

over our life and slaughter, just as if thousands of 
peoples do not live without physieians, though not 
without physic, as the Roman people have done for 
more than six hundred years, although not slow them- 
selves to welcome science and art, being actually 
greedy for medicine until trial led them to condemn 
it. 

VI. In fact this is the time to review the outstand- 
ing features of medical practices in the days of our 
fathers. Cassius Hemina, one of our earliest 
authorities, asserts that the first physician to come 

to Rome was Archagathus, son of Lysanias, who Archagathus. 

migrated from the Peloponnesus in the year of the 

city 535, a when Lucius Aemilius and Marcus Livius 

were consuls. He adds that citizen rights were 

given him, and a surgery at the cross-way of Acilius 

was bought with public money for his own use. 

They say b that he was a wound specialist, and that 

his arrival at first was wonderfully popular, but 

presently from his savage use of the knife and cautery 

he was nicknamed " Executioner," and his profession, 

with all physicians, became objects of loathing. The 

truth of this can be seen most plainly in the opinion of 

Marcus Cato, whose authority is very little enhanced 

by his triumph and censorship ; so much more comes 

from his personality. Therefore I will lay before my 

readers his verv words. 

VII. I shall speak about those Greek fellows in Catoon 
their proper place, son Marcus, and point out the P h y sicmns ' 
result of my enquiries at Athens, and convince vou 

what benefit comes from dipping into their literature, 
and not making a close study of it. They are a quite 
worthless people, and an intractable one, and you must 
consider my words prophetic. When that race gives 

191 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dabit, omnia conrumpet, tum etiam magis, si medicos 
suos hoc mittet. iurarunt inter se barbaros necare 
omnes medicina, et hoc ipsum mercede faciunt ut 
fides is sit et facile disperdant. nos quoque dictitant 
barbaros et spurcius nos quam alios opicon appella- 
tione foedant. interdixi tibi de medicis. 

15 VIII. Atque hic Cato sescentesimo quinto anno 
urbis nostrae obiit, octogensimo quinto suo, ne quis 
illi defuisse publice tempora aut privatim vitae spatia 
ad experiendum arbitretur. quid ergo ? damnatam 
ab eo rem utilissimam credimus ? minime, Hercules. 
subicit enim qua medicina se et coniugem usque ad 
longam senectam perduxerit, his ipsis scilicet quae 
nunc nos tractamus, 1 profiteturque esse commen- 
tarium sibi quo medeatur filio, servis, familiaribus, 

16 quem nos per genera usus sui 2 digerimus. non rem 
antiqui damnabant, sed artem, maxime vero quaes- 
tum esse manipretio vitae recusabant. ideo templum 
Aesculapii, etiam cum reciperetur is deus, extra 
urbem fecisse iterumque in insula traduntur, et cum 
Graecos Italia pellerent diu etiam post Catonem, 
excepisse medicos. augebo providentiam illorum. 

17 solam hanc artium Graecarum nondum exercet 
Romana gravitas, in tanto fructu paucissimi Quiritium 

1 nos tractamus Gelenius, Harduinus, Mayhoff : nos 
trademus vulg., Detlefsen : nostra scitamus plerique codd. 
8 usus sui codd. et edd. : ususve coni. Mayhoff. 



a An uncultivated Italian tribe. 

b Do \ve believe that a thing condemned by him is very 
useful 1 

e A curious use of excipio. Yet we must either so translate 
or with Sillig read nec for et. 

IQ2 



BOOK XXIX. vii. 14-vin. 17 

us its literature it will corrupt all things, and even all 
the more if it sends hither its physicians. They have 
conspired together to murder all foreigners with their 
physic, but this very thing they do for a fee, to gain 
credit and to destroy us easily. They are also 
always dubbing us foreigners, and to fling more filth 
on us than on others they give us the foul nickname 
of Opici. a I have forbidden you to have dealings 
with physicians. 

VIII. And this Cato died in the 605th year of the 
City and the 85th of his own life, so that nobody can 
think that he lacked opportunities in public life, or 
length of years in private life, to gather experiences. 
What then ? Are we to believe that he condemned 
a very useful thing ? b Xo, by heaven ! For he adds 
the medical treatment by which he prolonged his 
own life and that of his wife to an advanced age, by 
these very remedies in fact with which I am now 
dealing, and he claims to have a notebook of recipes, 
by the aid of which he treated his son, servants, and 
household ; these I rearrange under the diseases 
for which they are used. It was not medicine that 
our forefathers condemned, but the medical pro- 
fession, chiefly because they refused to pay fees to 
profiteers in order to save their lives. For this reason 
even when Aesculapius was brought as a god to 
Rome, they are said to have built his temple outside 
the city, and on another occasion upon an island, and 
when, a long time too after Cato, they banished 
Greeks from Italy, to have expressly included c 
physicians. I will magnify yet further their wisdom. 
Medicine alone of the Greek arts we serious Romans 
have not yet practised ; in spite of its great profits 
only a very few of our citizens have touched upon it, 

193 

VOL. VIII. H 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

attagere et ipsi statim ad Graecos transfugae, immo 
vero auctoritas aliter quam Graece eam tractantibus 
etiam apud inperitos expertesque linguae non est, ac 
minus credunt quae ad salutem suam pertinent, si in- 
tellegant. itaque, Hercules, in hac artium sola evenit 
ut cuicumque medicum se professo statim credatur, 

18 cum sit periculum in nullo mendacio maius. non 
tamen illud intuemur, adeo blanda est sperandi pro 
se cuique dulcedo. nulla praeterea lex quae puniat 
inscitiam capitalem, nullum exemplum vindictae. 
discunt periculis nostris et experimenta per mortes 
agunt, medicoque tantum hominem occidisse inpuni- 
tas summa est. quin immo transit convicium et 
intemperantia culpatur ultroque qui periere arguun- 
tur. sed decuriae pro more censuris principum 
examinantur, inquisitio per parietes agitur, et qui de 
nummo iudicet a Gadibus columnisque Herculis 
arcessitur, de exilio vero non nisi XLV electis viris 

19 datur tabella. at de iudice ipso quales in consilium 
eunt statim occisuri ! merito, dum nemini nostrum 
libet scire quid saluti suae opus sit. alienis pedibus 
ambulamus, alienis oculis agnoscimus, aliena me- 
moria salutamus, aliena et vivimus opera, perierunt- 
que rerum naturae pretia et vitae argumenta. nihil 

" This refera to the Roman custom of using slaves to carry 
them in litters, or to prompt them if thej' forgot faces or names. 

194 



BOOK XXIX. vm. 17-19 

and even these were at once deserters to the Greeks ; 
nay, if medical treatises are written in a language 
other than Greek they have 110 prestige even among 
unlearned men ignorant of Greek, and if any should 
understand them they have less faith in what con- 
cerns their own health. Accordingly, heaven knows, 
the medical profession is the only one in which any- 
body professing to be a physician is at once trusted, 
although nowhere else is an untruth more dangerous. 
We pay however no attention to the danger, so great 
for each of us is the seductive sweetness of wishful 
thinking. Besides this, there is no law to punish 
criminal ignorance, no instance of retribution. 
Physicians acquire their knowledge from our dangers, 
making experiments at the cost of our lives. Only 
a physician can commit homicide with complete 
impunity. Nay, the victim, not the criminal, is 
abused; his is the blame for want of self-control, 
and it is actually the dead who are brought to account. 
Panels of judges are tested according to custom bv 
the censorial powers of the Emperor ; their examina- 
tion invades the privacy of our homes ; to give a 
verdict on a petty sum a man is summoned from 
Cadiz and the Pillars of Hercules ; indeed, before the 
penalty of exile can be inflicted forty-five selected 
men are given power to vote on it ; yet on the judge 
himself what manner of men sit in consultation to 
murder him out of hand ! We deserve it all, so long 
as not one of us cares to know what is necessarv for 
his own good health. We walk with the feet of 
others, we recognise our acquaintances with the eyes 
of others, rely on others' memory to make our 
salutations, and put into the hands of others our 
very lives ; the precious things of nature, which 

J 95 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

20 aliud pro nostro habemus quam delicias. non 
deseram Catonem tam ambitiosae artis invidiae a me 
obiectum aut senatum illum qui ita censebat, idque 
non criminibus artis arpeptis, ut aliquis exspectaverit. 
quid enim venenorum fertilius aut unde plures testa- 
mentorum insidiae ? iam vero et adulteria etiam in 
principum domibus, ut Eudemi in Livia Drusi 
Caesaris, item Valentis in qua dictum est regina. 

21 non sint artis ista sed hominum ; non magis haec urbi 
timuit Cato, ut equidem credo, quam reginas. ne 
avaritiam quidem arguam rapacesque nundinas pen- 
dentibus fatis et dolorum indicaturam ac mortis arram 
aut arcana praecepta, squamam in oculis emovendam 
potius quam extrahendam, per quae effectum est ut 
nihil magis pro re videretur quam multitudo grassan- 
tium ; neque enim pudor sed aemuli pretia summit- 

22 tunt. notum est ab eodem Charmide unum aegrum 
ex provincialibus HS cc 1 reconductum Alconti vul- 
nerum medico, HS x 2 damnato ademisse Claudium 
principem, eidemque in Gallia exulanti et deinde 
restituto adquisitum non minus intra paucos annos. 

23 et haec personis inputentur. ne faecem quidem aut 
inscitiam eius turbae x arguamus, ipsorum intem- 

1 cc Warmington: cc codd. 

2 x Warmington: c codd. 

a turbae d vnlg. : turpem Mayhoff : turbam pleriqtie codd. 
Post ipsorum add. procerum Mayhoff. 

° That a further operation may be necessary. 
* With Mayhoff' s readings : " or its disgraceful ignorance, 
the irresponsibility of the leading physicians themselves." 

196 



BOOK XXIX. vin. 19-23 

support life, we have quite lost. We have nothing 
else of our own save our luxuries. I will not abandon 
Cato exposed by me to the hatred of so vain-glorious 
a profession, or yet that Senate which shared his 
views, and that without seizing, as one might expect, 
any chances of accusation against the profession. 
For what has been a more fertile source of poison- 
ings ? Whence more conspiracies against wills ? 
Yes, and through it too adulteries occur even in our 
imperial homes, that of Eudemus with Livia, wife of 
Drusus Caesar, and that of Yalens with the roval 
lady with whom his name is linked. We may grant 
that the blame for such sins may lie with persons, not 
with the medical profession ; Cato, I believe, had no 
more fears for Rome about these matters than he had 
about the presence in Rome of royal ladies. Let me 
not even bring charges against their avarice, their 
greedy bargains made with those whose fate lies in 
the balance, the prices charged for anodynes, the 
earnest-money paid for death, or their mysterious 
instructions, that a cataract should be moved away 
and not pulled off.° The result is that the brightest 
side of the picture is the vast number of marauders ; 
for it is not shame but the competition of rivals that 
brings down fees. It is well known that the Charmis Attack on 
aforesaid exchanged one sick provincial for 200,000 P h ^ sicians - 
sesterces by a bargain with Alcon the wound- 
surgeon; that Charmis was condemned and fined 
by the Emperor Claudius the sum of 1,000,000 
sesterces, yet as an exile in Gaul and on his return 
from banishment he amassed a like sum within a 
few years. Let the blame for this sort of thing also 
be laid on persons. I must not accuse even the dregs 
of that mob b or its ignorance : the irresponsibility of 

197 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

perantiam, in morbis * aquarum calidarum deverticulis 
imperiosa inedia et ab isdem deficientibus cibo saepius 
die ingesto, mille praeterea paenitentiae modis, 
culinarum etiam praeceptis et unguentorum mixturis, 

24 quando nullas omiserc vitae inlecebras. invehi pere- 
grinas merces conciliarique externa pretia displicuisse 
maioribus crediderim equidem, non tamen hoc 
Catonem providisse, cum damnaret artem. theriace 
vocatur excogitata compositio. fit ex rebus sex- 
centis, 2 cum tot remedia dederit natura quae singula 
suiticerent. Mithridatium antidotum ex rebus LIIII 
componitur, inter nullas 3 pondere aequali et quarun- 
dam rerum sexagesima denarii unius imperata, quo 

25 deorum, per Fidem, ista monstrante ! hominum enim 
subtilitas tanta esse non potuit, ostentatio artis et 
portentosa scientiae venditatio manifesta est. ac ne 
ipsi quidem illa novere, conperique volgo pro cinna- 
bari Indica in medicamenta minium addi inscitia 
nominis, quod esse venenum docebimus inter pig- 

26 menta. verum haec ad singulorum salutem perti- 
nent, illa autem quae timuit Cato atque providit, 
innocentiora multo et parva opinatu quae proceres 
artis eius de semet ipsi fateantur.illa perdidere imperii 
mores, illa quae sani patimur, luctatus ceromata ceu 
valitudinis causa instituta, balineae ardentes quibus 
persuasere in corporibus cibos coqui ut nemo non 

1 in morbis codd. : inimodicis Mayhoff. 

2 sexcentis Sillig, Mayhoff : externis codd., Detlefsen. 

3 nullas Mayhoff : nullius Detlefsen : nullos plerique codd. 

" ( Vlsus ( V. 1'.'), .'}) giv.es the number of imjredients as thirty- 
six. The antidota were stimulant, aromatic substances which, 
with honey and wine, wcre given for falls. pains, and ])oisons. 

6 Also called cinnabaris nativa; hence the error. 

f See XXXIII. § 124. 

198 



BOOK XXIX. viii. 23-26 

the physicians themselves, with their out-of-the-way 
use of hot water in sickness, their strict fasts for 
patients, who when in a fainting condition are stuffed 
with food several times a day, their thousand ways 
moreover of changing their minds, their orders to 
the kitchen, and their compound ointments ; for 
none of life's seductive attractions have they re- 
frained frorn touching. I am inclined to believe that 
our ancestors were displeased with imports from 
abroad and with the fixing of prices by foreigners, but 
not that Cato foresaw these things when he con- 
demned the profession. There is an elaborate 
mixture called iheriace. which is compounded of 
countless ingredients, although Nature has given as 
many remedies, anyone of which would be enough 
by itself. The Mithridatic antidote is composed of 
fifty-four a ingredients, no two of them having the 
same weight, while of some is prescribed one sixtieth 
part of one denarius. Which of the gods, in the 
name of Truth, fixed these absurd proportions ? Xo 
human brain could have been sharp enough. It is 
plainly a showy parade of the art, and a colossal boast 
of science. And not even the physicians know their 
facts ; I have discovered that instead of Indian cinna- 
bar there is commonly added to medicines, through 
a confusion of names, red lead, 6 which, as I shall 
point out when I discuss pigments, c is a poison. 
These things however concern the health of indi- 
viduals ; but those other practices, which Cato feared 
and foresaw, much less harmful and less regarded, 
such as the heads of that profession themselves admit 
about themselves, those, I say, have ruined the morals 
of the Empire, I mean the practices to which we sub- 
mit when in health — wrestlers' ointments. as though 

199 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

minus validus exiret, oboedientissimi vero efferrentur, 
potus deinde ieiunorum ac vomitiones et rursus per- 
potationes ac pilorum eviratio instituta resinis 
eorum, itemque pectines in feminis quidem publicati. 

27 ita est profecto, lues morum, nec aliunde maior quam 
e medicina, vatem prorsus cottidie facit Catonem et 
oraculum : satis esse ingenia Graecorum inspicere, 

28 non perdiscere. haec fuerint dicenda pro senatu illo 
sescentisque p. R. annis adversus artem in qua condi- 
tione insidiosissima auctoritatem pessimis boni 
faciunt, simul contra attonitas quorundam persua- 
siones qui prodesse nisi pretiosa non putant. neque 
enim dubitaverim aliquis fastidio futura quae dicentur 
animalia, at non Virgilio fuit nominare formicas nulla 
necessitate et curculiones ac lucifugis congesta cubilia 
blattis, non Homero inter proelia deorum inprobi- 
tatem muscae describere, non naturae gignere ista, 
cum gignat hominem. proinde causas quisque et 
effectus, non res aestimet. 

29 IX. Ordiemur autem a confessis, hoc est lanis ovis- 

que, ut * rebus praecipuis honos in primis perhibeatur. 

1 ut Urlichs, Detlefsen : ob id ut Mayhoff : obiter (obitur) 
aid obiter ut codd. 



a A pun on concoquere (and sometimes coquere) in the sense 
of " digest." 

6 Or, " innumerable." 

e Georgics I. 186 and IV. 243. 



200 



BOOK XXIX. viii. 26-ix. 29 

thev were intended to treat ill health, broiling baths, 
by which they have persuaded us that food is 
cooked a in our bodies, so that everybody leaves 
them the weaker for the treatment, and the most 
submissive are carried out to be buried, the draughts 
taken fasting, vomitings followed by further heavy 
potations, effeminate depilations produced by their 
resins, and even the pubes of women exposed to 
public view. It is certainly true that our degeneracy, 
due to medicine more than to anything else, proves 
daily that Cato was a genuine prophet and oracle 
when he stated that it is enough to dip into the 
works of Greek brains without making a close study 
of them. Thus much must be said in defence of that 
Senate and those 600 b years of the Roman State, 
against a profession where the treacherous conditions 
allow good men to give authority to the worst, and 
at the same time against the stupid convictions of 
certain people who consider nothing benencial unless 
it is costly. For I feel sure that some will be dis- 
gusted at the animals I shall treat of, although Virgil c 
did not disdain to speak quite unnecessarily of ants 
and weevils, and of : — 

" sleeping places heaped up by cockroaches that 
avoid the light." 

Nor did Homer d disdain amid the battles of the gods 
to tell of the greed of the fly, nor yet did Nature 
disdain to create them because she creates man. 
Therefore let each take into account, not things 
themselves, but causes and results. 

IX. But I shall commence with admitted medical wooiand 
aids, that is, with wools and eggs, to give first eggs - 

d lUad XVII. 570. 

201 



PLINV. NATURAL HISTORY 

quaedam etiam si : alienis locis, tamen obiter dici 
necesse erit. nec deerat materia pompae, si quic- 
quam aliud intueri liberet quam fidem operis, quippe 
inter prima proditis etiam ex cinere phoenicis nidoque 
medicinis, ceu vero id certum esset atque non fabulo- 
sum. inridere est vitae remedia post millensimum 

30 annum reditura monstrare. lanis auctoritatem 
veteres Romani etiam religiosam habuere postes a 
nubentibus attingi iubentes, praeterque cultum et 
tutelam contra frigora sucidae plurima praestant 
remedia ex oleo vinoque aut aceto, prout quaeque 
mulceri morderive opus sit et .adstringi laxarive, 
luxatis membris dolentibusque nervis inpositae et 
crebro suffusae. quidam et salem admiscent luxatis, 
alii cum lana rutam tritam adipemque inponunt, 

31 item contusis tumentibusque. halitus quoque oris 
gratiores facere traditur confricatis dentibus atque 
gingivis admixto melle. prodest et phreneticis 
suffitu. sanguinem in naribus sistit cum oleo rosaceo. 
et alio modo indita auribus opturatis spissius. quin 
et ulceribus vetustis inponitur cum melle. vulnera 
ex vino vel aceto vel aqua frigida et oleo expressa 

32 sanat. arietis vellera luta frigida ex oleo madefacta 
in muliebribus malis inflammationes vulvae sedant et, 
si procidant, suffitu reprimunt. sucida lana inposita 
subditaque mortuos partus evocat. sistit etiam pro- 

1 si E vulg. Detlejsen : sic plerique codd., Mayhoff. 



° Or probably " chief," " best." 
* For phrenitis see List of Diseases. 



BOOK XXIX. ix. 29-32 

honours to things of the first importance. Certain 
matters even out of their proper place it will be 
necessary to discuss, at least as incidental asides. 
Nor would material be wanting for rhetoric if it 
pleased me to pay attention to anything else than to 
making my work trustworthy, seeing that fable even 
says that among the first ° medicines was one from 
the ashes and nest of the phoenix, just as though the 
story were fact and not myth. It is to joke with 
mankind to point out remedies that return only after 
a thousand years. The old Romans assigned to wool 
even supernatural powers, for they bade brides touch 
with it the doorposts of their new homes ; and besides 
dress and protection from cold, unwashed wool 
supplies very many remedies if dipped in oil and wine 
or vinegar, according as the particular need is for an 
emollient or a pungent remedy, for an astringent or 
a relaxing one, being applied, and frequently 
moistened, for dislocations and aching sinews. For 
dislocations some add salt also ; others apply with 
wool pounded rue and fat, likewise for bruises and 
swellings. To rub too the teeth and gums with 
wool and honey is said to make the breath more 
pleasant, and to fumigate with wool benefits 
phrenitis. 6 Nose bleeding is checked by inserting 
wool and rose oil ; another way is to put it into the 
ears and plug them rather nrmly. It is applied 
moreover with honey to old sores. Wounds it heals 
if dipped in wine, or vinegar, or cold water and oil, 
and then squeezed out. A ram's fleece washed in 
cold water and soaked in oil, soothes inflammations 
of the uterus in women's complaints, and by fumi- 
gation reduces prolapsus. Unwashed wool applied 
or used as a pessary extracts a dead foetus ; it also 

203 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fiuvia earum, et canis rabiosi morsibus inculcata post 
diem septimum solvitur. reduvias sanat ex aqua 
frigida, eadem nitro, sulpure, oleo, aceto, pice liquida 
fervescentibus tincta quam calidissima inposita bis die 
lumborum dolores sedat. sistit et sanguinem ex 
ariete sucida articulos extremitatium praeligans. 

33 laudatissima omnis e collo, natione vero Galatica, 
Tarentina, Attica, Milesia. sucidam inponunt et des- 
quamatis, percussis, lividis, incussis, conlisis, contritis, 
deiectis, capitis et aliis doloribus, stomachi inflamma- 
tioni ex aceto et rosaceo. cinis eius inlinitur adtritis, 
vulneratis, ambustis. et in oculorum medicamentis 

34 additur, item in fistulas auresque suppuratas. ad 
hoc detonsam eam, alii evolsam, deeisis summis parti- 
bus siccant carpuntque et in fictili crudo conponunt 
ac melle perfundunt uruntque. alii astulis taedae 
subiectis et subinde interstratis oleo adspersam 
accendunt, cineremque in labellis aqua addita con- 
fricant manu et considere patiuntur, idque saepius 
mutantes aquam, donec linguam adstringat leniter 
nec mordeat. tunc cinerem reponunt. vis eius 
septica est efficacissimeque genas purgat. 

35 X. Quin ipsae sordes pecudum sudorque feminum 
et alarum adhaerentes lanis — oesypum vocant — 
innumeros prope usus habent. in Atticis ovibus 
genito palma. fit pluribus modis, sed probatissimum 



204 



BOOK XXIX. ix. 32-x. 35 

stays uterine fluxes. Plugged into the bites of a 
mad dog it is taken away after the seventh day. 
With cold "\vater it cures hangnails. Again, dipped 
into a hot mixture of soda, sulphur, oil, vinegar and 
liquid pitch, all as hot as possible, and applied twice 
a day, wool relieves lumbago. Unwashed ram's wool 
also stays bleeding if bound round the joints of the 
extremities. The most highly esteemed wool is : all 
from the neck, and that from the districts of Galatia, 
Tarentum, Attica, and Miletus. Unwashed wool is 
applied to excoriations, blows, bruises, contusions, 
crushed parts, galhng, falls, pains in the head and 
elsewhere, and with vinegar and rose oil to in- 
flammation of the stomach. The ash of wool is 
applied to chafings, wounds, and burns. It is added 
to medicaments for the eyes, and also used for fistulas 
and suppurating ears. For this purpose some take 
shorn wool, others wool plucked out, cut off the ends, 
dry, card, place in a vessel of unbaked clay, steep in 
honey, and burn. Others place under it a layer of 
pitch-pine chips, make several alternate layers, 
sprinkle with oil, and set on fire. The ash is rubbed 
by the hand into little pots, with water added, and 
then allowed to settle. The operation is repeated 
several times, with changes of water, until the ash 
becomes slightly astringent to the tongue without 
stinging it ; then it is stored away. It has a caustic 
property that makes it an excellent detergent for the 
eyelids. 

X. Moreover, even the greasy sweat of sheep that Oesypum 
clings to the wool under the hollows of their flanks and 
forelegs — it is called oesypum (suint) — has uses almost 
innumerable. The most prized is that obtained from 
Attic sheep. There are several ways of preparing it, 

205 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lana ab his partibus recenti concerpta aut quibuscum- 
que sordibus sucidis primum collectis lento igni in 
aeneo subfervefactis et refrigeratis pinguique quod 
supernatet collecto in fictile vas iterumque decocta 
priore materia, quae pinguitudo utraque frigida aqua 
lavatur et in linteo saccatur ac sole torretur, donec 
candida fiat ac tralucida, tum in stagnea pyxide 

36 conditur. probatio ut sordium virus oleat et manu 
fricante ex aqua non liquetur sed albescat ut cerussa. 
oculis utilissimum contra inflammationes genarumque 
callum. quidam in testa torrent donec pinguitudinem 
amittat, utilius tale existimantes erosis et duris genis, 

37 angulis scabiosis et lacrimantibus. ulcera non ocu- 
lorum modo sanat sed oris etiam et genitalium cum 
anserino adipe. medetur et vulvae inflammationibus 
et sedis rhagadiis et condylomatis cum meliloto ac 
butyro. reliquos usus eius digeremus. sordes quoque 
caudarum concretae in pilulas siccatae per se tusaeque 
in farinam et inlitae dentibus mire prosunt, etiam 

38 labantibus, 1 gingivisque, si carcinoma serpat, iam 
vero pura vellera aut per se inposita caecis doloribus 
aut accepto sulpure, et cinis eorum genitalium vitiis, 
tantumque pollent ut medicamentis quoque super- 
ponantur. medentur ante omnia et pecori ipsi, si 
fastidio non pascatur. cauda enim quam artissime 

1 labantibus d, vulg., Mayhoff : labantibusque VR : laban- 
tibus quae E : labantibus, uvae coni. Detlefsen. 



° An alloy of silver and lead. 

6 Or, " sweaty grease too round the tail, if allowed to dry 
and congeal by itself into little balls and then etc." 

r That is, of uncertain locality or origin. The word is used 
again with dolores in § 55. 
206 



BOOK XXIX. x. 35-38 

but the most approved is to take fresh-plucked wool 
from the parts mentioned, or first to gather the greasy 
sweat from any part, then warm it in a bronze pot 
over a slow fire, cool it again, collect in an earthen 
vessel the fat that floats on the top, and boil again 
the stufF originally used. Both the fats obtained 
are washed in cold water, strained through linen, 
heated in the sun until they become white and trans- 
parent, and then stored away in a box of stannum. a 
The test of its purity is that it should retain the 
strong smell of the grease, and when rubbed with 
the hand in water, should not melt, but become white 
like white-lead. It is very useful for inflammations 
of the eyes and hard places 011 the eyelids. Some 
bake it in an earthen jar until it is no longer fatty, 
holding that in this condition it is a more useful 
remedy for sores that have eaten into the eyelids, for 
indurations there, and for watery itch at the corners. 
It heals, not only sores of the eyes, but also with 
goose grease those of the mouth and genitals. 
With melilot and butter it cures inflammations of the 
uterus, chaps in the anus, and condylomata. Its 
other uses I shall set out in order later on. The 
sweaty b grease too that gathers into pills about the 
tail, dried by itself and ground to powder, is wonder- 
fully beneficial if rubbed 011 the teeth, even when 
these are loose, and on the gums when they suffer 
from malignant, running sores. Furthermore, clean 
pieces of fleece are applied to blind c pains, either 
by themselves or with sulphur added, and their ash 
to affections of the genitals, being so potent that they 
are even placed over medicinal applications. Wool 
is also the best of remedies for sheep themselves if 
they lose their appetite and will not pasture. For if 

207 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

praeligata, evolsa inde lana, statim vescuntur, tra- 
duntque quod extra nodum sit e cauda praemori. 

39 XI. Lanae habent et cum ovis societatem simul 
fronti inpositae contra epiphoras. non opus est eas 
in hoc usu radicula esse curatas neque aliud quam 
candidum ex ovo infundi ac pollinem turis. ova per 
se infuso candido oculis epiphoras cohibent urentes- 
que refrigerant — quidam cum croco praeferunt — et 
pro aqua miscentur collyriis. infantibus vero contra 
lippitudines ut x vix aliud remedio sunt 2 butyro 

40 admixto recenti. eadem cum oleo trita ignes sacros 
leniunt betae foliis superinligatis. candido ovorum 
in oculis et pili reclinantur Hammoniaco trito 
admixtoque et vari in facie cum pineis nucleis ac 
melle modico. ipsa facies inlita sole non uritur. 
ambusta aquis si statim ovo occupentur, pusulas non 
sentiunt — quidam admiscent farinam hordeaciam et 
salis parum — ulceribus vero ex ambusto cum candido 
ovorum tostum hordeum et suillo adipe mire prodest. 

41 eadem curatione ad sedis vitia utuntur, infantibus 
quidem etiam si quid ibi procidat, ad pedum rimas 
ovorum candido decocto cum cerussae denariorum 



ut vix Mayhoff : vix codd., Detlef, 
sunt Mayhoff : est codd., Detlef, 



sen, 
sen. 



° The reading of the MSS. would mean : " scarcely any- 
thing else is a remedy except egg mixed with fresh butter," 
a startling statement even for Pliny. Mayhoffs conjectures 
give the required sense, although it is hard to see how and 
why corruption occurred. 

208 



BOOK XXIX. x. 38-xi. 41 

their tails are tied as tightly as possible with wool 
plucked therefrom they at once begin to feed, and 
it is said that all the tail outside the knot dies off. 

XI. Wool has also a close affinity with eggs, the 
two being laid together on the forehead for eye 
fluxes. There is no need for the wool, when so used, 
to have been treated with radicula, or for anything 
else except to spread on it white of egg and powdered 
frankincense. White of egg by itself, poured into 
the eyes, checks fluxes and cools inflammations, 
although some prefer to add saffron, and eggs can 
take the place of water in eye salves. But for infant 
ophthalmia scarcely anything else a is so remedial as 
egg mixed with fresh butter. Eggs beaten up with 
olive oil relieve erysipelas if beet leaves are tied on 
top. White of egg mixed with pounded gum 
ammoniac sets back eye-lashes, and removes spots 
on the face with pine nuts and a little honey. The 
face itself if smeared with egg is not burnt by the 
sun. If scalds are at once covered with egg they 
do not blister — some add barley flour and a pinch of 
salt — while sores from a burn are made wonderfully 
better by roasted barley with white of egg and pig's 
lard. The same treatment is used for affections of 
the anus, and even for procidence in the case of 
infants ; for chaps on the feet the white of eggs is 
boiled down with two denarii by weight of white 
lead, an equal weight of litharge, a little myrrh, and 
then wine ; for erysipelas is used the white of three 
eggs with starch. It is also said that white of egg 
closes wounds and expels stone from the bladder. 
The yolk of eggs, boiled hard, mixed with a little 
saffron and honey, and applied in woman's milk, 
relieves pains of the eyes ; or it may be placed over 

209 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

duum pondere, pari spumae argenti, murrae exiguo, 
dein vino ; ad ignem sacrum candido ovorum trium 
cum amulo. aiunt et vulnera candido glutinari 

42 calculosque pelli. lutea ovorum cocta ut indurescant, 
admixto croco modice, item melle, ex lacte mulieris 
inlita dolores oculorum mitigant, vel cum rosaceo et 
mulso lana oculis inposita, vel cum trito apii semine 
ac polenta in mulso inlita. prodest et tussientibus 
per se luteum devoratum liquidum ita ut dentibus non 
attingatur, thoracis destillationibus, faucium scabri- 
tiae. privatim contra haemorroidis morsum inlinitur 

43 sorbeturque crudum. prodest et renibus, vesicae 
rosionibus exulcerationibusque. 1 cruenta excreanti- 
bus quinque ovorum lutea in vini hemina cruda 
sorbentur, dysintericis cum cinere putaminis sui et 
papaveris suco ac vino. dantur coeliacis cum uvae 
passae pinguis pari pondere et malicorii per triduum 
aequis portionibus, et alio modo lutea ovorum trium, 
lardi veteris et mellis quadrantibus, vini veteris 
cyathis tribus, trita ad crassitudinem mellis et, cum 

44 opus sit, abellanae nucis magnitudine ex aqua 
pota, item ex oleo fricta terna, totis ovis pridie 
maceratis in aceto, sic et lientericis, sanguinem 
autem reicientibus cum tribus cyathis musti. 
utuntur isdem ad liventia, si vetustiora sint, cum 
bulbis ac melle. sistunt et menses mulierum cocta 

45 et e vino pota, inflationes quoque vulvae cruda 
cum oleo ac vino inlita. utilia sunt et cervicis 
doloribus cum anserino adipe et rosaceo, sedis etiam 
vitiis indurata igni ut calore quoque prosint, et con- 
dvlomatis cum rosaceo, item ambustis durata in 



1 Sic dist. Mayhoff e Plinio iun.; ceteri edd. punctum post 
excreantibus ponunt. 

2IO 



BOOK XXIX. xi. 41-45 

the eyes on wool with rose oil and honey wine, or 
applied in honey wine with ground celery-seed and 
pearl barley. Swallowed liquid, without letting it 
touch the teeth, the yolk by itself is good for cough, 
catarrh of the chest, and rough throats. Applied 
externally or taken internally the raw yolk is specific 
for the bite of the haemorrhois. a It is also good for 
the kidneys, and for irritation or ulceration of the 
bladder. b For spitting of blood five yolks of egg are 
swallowed raw in a hemina of wine, and for dysentery 
they are taken with the ash of their shells, poppy 
juice, and wine. With the same weight of plump 
raisins and pomegranate rind yolk of egg is given in 
equal doses for three days to sufferers from coeliac 
affections. Another way is to take the yolks of three 
eggs, three ounces of old bacon fat and of honey, and 
three cyathi of old wine, beat them up until they are 
of the consistency of honey, and take in water when 
required pieces of the size of a filbert. Yet another 
way is to fry three eggs after steeping them whole 
the day before in vinegar, and to use them so for 
spleen diseases, but to take them in three cyathi of 
must for the spitting of blood. Eggs are used with 
bulbs and honey for persistent bruises. Boiled and 
taken in wine they also check menstruation ; inflation 
too of the uterus if applied raw with oil and wine. 
They are useful too, with goose grease and rose oil, 
for pains in the neck ; for affections of the anus also, 
if hardened over fire and applied while the additional 
benefit of the heat is still retained ; for condylomata 
with rose oil ; for burns they are hardened in water, 

For this poisonous snake see Lucan IX. 709 foll. 
b Mayhoff 's punctuation avoids the awkward repetition of 
in vini hemina and ciun . . . vino in the same prescription. 

211 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aqua, mox in pruna; * putaminibus exustis, tum lutea 
ex rosaceo inlinuntur. fiunt et tota lutea, quae 
vocant sitista ; cum triduo incubita tolluntur. 
stomachum dissolutum confirmant pulli ovorum cum 
gallae dimidio, ita ne ante duas horas alius cibus 
sumatur. dant et dysintericis pullos in ipso ovo 
decoctos admixta vini austeri hemina et pari modo 

46 olei polentaeque. membrana putamini detracta sive 
crudo sive cocto labiorum fissuris medetur, putaminis 
cinis in vino potus sanguinis eruptionibus. comburi 
sine membrana oportet, sic fit et dentifricium. idem 
cinis et mulierum menses cum murra inlitus sistit. 
firmitas putaminum tanta est ut recta nec vi nec 
pondere ullo frangantur, nec nisi paulum inflexa 

47 rotunditate. tota ova adiuvant partum cum ruta et 
aneto et cumino pota e vino. scabiem corporum ac 
pruritum oleo et cedria mixtis tollunt, ulcera quoque 
umida in capite cyclamino admixta. ad puris et 
sanguinis excreationes ovum crudum cum porri sectivi 
suco parique mensura mellis Graeci calefactum 
hauritur. dantur et tussientibus cocta et trita cum 
melle et cruda cum passo oleique pari modo. infun- 
duntur et virilitatis vitiis singula cum ternis passi 
cyathis amulique semuncia a balneis, adversus ictus 
serpentium cocta tritaque adiecto nasturtio inlinun- 

48 tur. cibo quot modis iuvent notum est, cum trans- 

1 Distinxi ego. 
212 



BOOK XXIX. xi. 45-48 

then over hot coals ; when the shells have been burned 
off, finally the yolks are applied in rose oil. Eggs 
become entirely yolk (they are then called sitista) 
when the hen has sat upon them for three days before 
they are taken up. The chicks found in eggs taken 
with half a gall nut settle a disordered stomach, but 
care must be taken to eat no other food for the next 
two hours. There are also given to dysentery 
patients chicks boiled in the egg itself and added to 
a hemina of dry wine and the same quantity of oil 
and pearl barley. The membrane peeled off the 
shell of a raw or boiled egg heals cracks in the lips. 
The shell reduced to ash and taken in wine cures 
discharges of blood. It must be burnt without the 
membrane. From this ash is also made a denti- 
frice. It also checks menstruation if applied with 
myrrh. The strength of the shells is so great that 
no force or weight will break them when the eggs are 
perpendicular, but only when the oval is slightly in- 
clined. Childbirth is made easier by whole eggs, with 
rue, dill, and cummin, taken in wine. Itch and irri- 
tation of the skin are removed by a mixture of oil, 
cedar-resin, and eggs ; running ulcers too on the head 
by eggs mixed with cyclamen. For spitting of pus or 
blood is swallowed a raw egg warmed with juice of 
cutleek and an equal amount of Greek honey. 
There are given to patients with a cough boiled eggs 
beaten up with honey, or raw eggs with raisin wine 
and an equal measure of oil. Eggs are also injected 
for complaints of the male organs, the dose being 
one egg with three cyathi of raisin wine and half an 
ounce of starch, given after the bath ; for snake bite 
they are applied after boiling them and beating up 
with the addition of cress. How helpful in many 

213 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

meent faucium tumorem ealfactuque obiter foveant. 
nullus est alius cibus qui in aegritudine alat neque 
oneret simulque vim potus et cibi habeat. macera- 

49 torum in aceto molliri diximus putamen. talibus 
cum farina in panem subactis coeliaci recreantur. 
quidam ita resoluta in patinis torrere utilius putant, 
quo genere non alvos tantum sed et menses femin- 
arum sistunt, aut si maior sit impetus, cruda cum 
farina et aqua hauriuntur, et per se lutea ex his 
decocta in aceto donec indurescant, iterumque cum 
trito pipere torrentur * ad cohibendas alvos. iit et 

50 dysintericis remedium singulare ovo effuso in fictile 
novum eiusdemque ovi mensura, ut paria sint omnia, 
melle, mox aceto, item oleo confusis crebroque per- 
mixtis. quo fuerint ea excellentiora hoc praesentius 
remedium erit. alii eadem mensura pro oleo et aceto 
resinam adiciunt rubentem vinumque ; et alio modo 
temperant, olei tantum mensura pari pineique 
corticis duabus sexagensimis denarii ac una eius quod 
rhus diximus, mellis obolis quinque simul decoctis, ita 
ut cibus alius post quattuor horas sumatur. tormini- 
bus quoque multi medentur ova bina cum alii spicis 
quattuor una terendo vinique hemina calefaciendo 

51 atque ita potui dando. et, ne quid desit ovorum 
gratiae, candidum cx his admixtum calci vivae 

1 torrenturweJgr. : Mayhqffquitoat&d&ntuTConi.: torreantur 
codd. Detlefsen. 



« Book X. § 167. b See XXIV. § 91. 

2T 4 



BOOK XXIX. xi. 48-51 

ways eggs are as food is well known, for they pass a 
swollen throat and incidentally by their heat soothe 
it. There is no other food so nourishing in sickness 
without overloading the stomach, and it has the 
nature of both food and drink. I have said ° that 
the shell is softened of eggs steeped in vinegar. 
Eggs so prepared and kneaded into bread with flour 
give refreshment to patients with coeliac affections. 
Some think it more useful, after softening them in 
this way, to bake them in shallow pans ; when so pre- 
pared they check not only diarrhoea but also excessive 
menstruation ; or if the attack is specially severe they 
are swallowed raw with flour and water, or the yolks 
from these eggs by themselves are boiled hard in 
vinegar, and then roasted with ground pepper to 
check diarrhoea. There is also made for dysentery 
an excellent remedy by pouring an egg into a new 
earthen vessel, and so that there may be equal quan- 
tities of all the ingredients, in the shell of this egg are 
measured honey, then vinegar, and oil, which are 
mixed, and stirred many times. The more excellent 
the quality of these ingredients the more sovereign 
will the remedy be. Others substitute for oil and 
vinegar the same amounts of red resin and wine. 
There is yet another method of compounding : only 
the quantity of oil remains the same, and with it are 
boiled down together two sixtieths of a denarius of 
pine bark, one of the shrub I have called rhus,* and 
five oboli of honey, but no other food must be taken 
until four hours have passed. Many also treat colic 
by beating up two eggs together with four heads of 
garlic, warming with a hemina of wine, and so giving 
the mixture as a draught. To omit no attractive 
feature of eggs, white of egg mixed with quicklime 

215 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

glutinat vitri fragmenta. vis vero tanta est ut 
lignum perfusum ovo non ardeat ac ne vestis 
quidem contacta aduratur. de gallinarum autem 
ovis tantum locuti sumus, cum et reliquarum alitum 
restent, magnae utilitatis, 1 sicut suis locis dicemus. 

52 XII. Praeterea est ovorum genus in magna fama 
Galliarum, omissum Graecis. angues ea numerose 
convoluti salivis faucium corporumque spumis artifici 
conplexu glomerant. urinum appellatur ; 2 Druidae 
sibilis id dicunt in sublime iactari sagoque oportere 
intercipi ne tellurem attingat, profugere raptorem 
equo, serpentes enim insequi donec arceantur amnis 
alicuius interventu ; experimentum eius esse, si 

53 contra aquas fluitet vel auro vinctum. atque, ut est 
Magorum sollertia occultandis fraudibus sagax, certa 
luna capiendum censent, tamquam congruere opera- 
tionem eam serpentium humani sit arbitrii. vidi 
equidem id ovum mali orbiculati modici magnitudine, 
crusta cartilagineis velut acetabulis bracchiorum 

1 utilitatis V Mayhoff : utilitates ceteri codd., Detlefsen. 

2 Sic ego. angues ea numero sex convoluti salivis faucium 
corporumque spumis artifici complexu glomerant. uranium 
appellatur Detlefsen : angues enim numerose convoluti salivis 
faucium corporumque spumis artifici complexu glomerant; 
urinum appellatur Mayhoff : ea VRE vulg., Detlefsen : eo d; 
del. Hermolaus Barbarus : numero est VRd : numero est 
ovorum E vulg. : innumeri aestate Caesarius et Hermolaus 
Barbarus : inter sese coni. Mayhoff : glomerantur in unum d : 
glomerantur annum multi codd. : glomerantur. anguinum 
vulg. 

a Or : " nor will cloth either etc." 

6 The numerous variants in the MSS. show that the scribes 
were as puzzled by this passage as are modern readers. It 

216 



BOOK XXIX. xi. 51-XII. 53 

fastens together broken glass. So great indeed is its 
power that wood dipped in egg will not take fire, and 
not even cloth a stained with it will burn. But I have 
been speaking only about farmyard hen's eggs ; there 
remain also other birds, the eggs of which are of 
great utility ; about them I shall speak on the 
proper occasions. 

XII. There is, moreover, a kind of egg which is Thesnake\ 
very famous in the Gauls, but not mentioned by the e "' 
Greeks. Snakes intertwined in great numbers in a 
studied embrace make these round objects with the 
saliva from their jaws and the foam from their bodies. 
It is called a " wind ^gg-" b The Druids say that it 
is tossed aloft by the snakes' hisses, and that it ought 
to be caught in a military cloak before it can touch 
the earth. The catcher, they say, must flee on horse- 
back, for the serpents chase him until they are 
separated by some intervening river. A test of a 
genuine egg is that it floats against the current, even 
if it is set in gold. Such is the clever cunning of the 
Magi in wrapping up their frauds that they give out as 
their opinion that it must be caught at a fixed period 
of the moon, as if agreement between snakes and 
moon for this act depended upon the will of man. I 
indeed have seen this egg. which was like a round 
apple of medium size, and remarkable for its hard 
covering pitted with many gristly cup-hollows, as it 

seems best to keep ea, accept MavhofTs numerose (cf. XXV. 
§ 167), and take his urinum (cf. X. §§ 158, 166) as the best 
stop-gap for the name of the egg; it is very near the reading 
of the MS. d. The vulgate anguinum (serpent's egg) is so 
obvious and easy that it is most unlikely to have been cor- 
rupted into the variants of our MSS. See A. Blanchet on 
ovum anguinum in Bulletin Archeologique du Comite des 
Travaux Historiques, 1953, pp. 555-559. 

217 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

54 polypi crehris insigtie. 1 Druidis ad victorias litium 
ac regum aditus mire laudatur, tantae vanitatis 
ut habentem id in lite in sinu equitem R. e Yocontiis 
a divo Claudio principe interemptum non ob aliud 
sciam. hic tamen conplexus anguium et frugifera 
eorum concordia in causa videtur esse quare exterae 
gentes caduceum in pacis argumentis circumdata 
effigie anguium fecerint, neque enim cristatos esse in 
caduceo mos est. 

55 XIII. De anserum ovis magnae utilitatis ipsoque 
ansere dicturi hoc in volumine debemus honorem et 
commageno, clarissimae rei. fit ex adipe anserum, 
alioqui celeberrimi usus, [est ad hoc in Commagene 
Syriae parte] 2 cum cinnamo, casia, pipere albo, herba 
quae commagene vocatur, obrutis nive vasis, odore 
iucundo, utilissimum ad perfrictiones, convulsiones, 
caecos aut subitos dolores omniaque quae acopis 
curantur, unguentumque pariter et medicamentum 

56 est. fit et in Syria alio modo, avium adipe curato ut 
dicemus, additis ervsisceptro. xylobalsamo. phoenice, 
item tuso 3 calamo. singulorum pondere quod sit 
adipis. vino bis aut ter subfervefactum. fit autem 
hieme, quoniam aestate non glaciat nisi accepta cera. 
niiilta praeterea remedia sunt cx ansere, quod miror 

1 insigne codd., Mayhoff : insigni Detiefsen. 
8 I ' iicos add. Detlefsen. Pro est Mayhqffset scribit, ei aHoqui 
. . . parte in parenthesi. 

a item tuso Mayhoff ex Uioscoride : tuso item codd. 



a The idea is that if they were crested they would be males, 
and so eggless. 

b The part in brackets seems to be inoonsisteni with fit et 
in Syria alio modo (§ 56). 

M.niy acopa are fco be found in Celsus, but they would not 
be very effective. For " blind " pains see § 38. 



BOOK XXIX. xii. 53-xm. 56 

were, like those on the tentacles of an octopus. The 
Druids praise it highly as the giver of victory in the 
law-courts and of easy access to potentates. Herein 
they are guilty of such lying fraud that a Roman 
knight of the Yocontii, for keeping one in his bosom 
during a lawsuit, was executed by the late Emperor 
Claudius, and for no other reason. However, this 
embrace and fertile union of snakes seem to be the 
reason why foreign nations. when discussing peace 
terms, have made the herakTs staff surrounded with 
figures of snakes; and it is not the custom for the 
snakes on a herald's staff to have a crest.° 

XIII. As in this Book I am going to treat of the Thegoose. 
very useful goose egg, and of the goose itself, our 
respects are due to the famous preparation called 
commagenum. It is made from goose grease, a 
very popular medicament everywhere, [and for this 
purpose especially in Commagene, a district of Syria] b 
with cinnamon, cassia, white pepper, and the herb 
called commagene. The mixture is put into vessels 
and buried in snow; it has a pleasant smell, and is 
very useful for chills, sprains, blind or sudden pains, 
and for all the complaints treated by anodynes, c 
being equally good as an ointment and as a medicine. 
It is also prepared in Syria in another way. The 
grease of the birds is treated in the manner I shall 
describe/ and there are added to it erysisceptrum, 
balsam-wood, ground palm, and also crushed reed, 
the same quantity of each as of the grease, the whole 
being warmed two or three times in wine. But it 
must be prepared in winter, for it will not set in 
summer unless wax is added. There are many other 
remedies made from the goose, which surprise me as 

d See § 134 of this book. 

219 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aeque quam in capris, namque anser corvusque ab 
aestate in autumnum morbo conflictari dicuntur. 

57 XIV. De anserum honore quem meruere Gallorum 
in Capitolium ascensu dcprehenso diximus. eadem 
de causa supplicia annua canes pendunt inter aedem 
Iuventatis et Summani vivi in furca sabucea armo 
fixi. sed plura de hoc animali dici cogunt priscorum 

58 mores. catulos lactentes adeo puros existimabant 
ad cibum ut etiam placandis numinibus hostiarum 
vice uterentur iis. Genitae Manae catulo res divina 
fit et in cenis deum etiamnunc ponitur catulina. 
aditialibus quidem epulis celebrem l fuisse Plauti 
fabulae indicio sunt. sanguine canino contra toxica 
nihil praestantius putatur, vomitiones quoque hoc 
animal monstrasse homini videtur, et alios usus ex eo 
mire laudatos referemus suis locis. nunc ad statutum 
ordinem pergemus. 

59 XV. adversus serpentium ictus efhcacia habentur 
fimum pecudis recens in vino decoctum inlitumque, 
mures dissecti inpositi. quorum natura non est 
spernenda, praecipue in adsensu siderum, ut diximus, 
cum lumine lunae fibrarum numero crescente atque 
decrescente. tradunt Magi iocinere muris dato 

1 celebrem vulg., Mayhoff : celebres codd., Detlefsen. 



a See XXVIII. § 153. 
» X. §51. 

c I.e., because they had failed to give the alarm. 
d An old divinity supposed to have presided over child- 
birth. 

' Probably in the lost play Saturio, mentioned by Festus. 



BOOK XXIX. xm. 56-xv. 59 

much as the many from the goat, a for the goose and 
the crow are said to be afflicted with disease from 
the beginning of summer well into the autumn. 

XIV. I have spoken b of the fame won by the geese The dog. 
which detected the ascent of the Capitoline Hill by 

the Gauls. For the same reason c dogs are punished 
with death every year, being crucified alive on a cross 
of elder between the temple of Juventas and that of 
Summanus. But the customs of the ancients compel 
me to say several other things about the dog. 
Sucking puppies were thought to be such pure food 
that they even took the place of sacrificial victims to 
placate the divinities. Genita Mana d is worshipped 
with the sacrifice of a puppy, and at dinners in 
honour of the gods even now puppy flesh is put on 
the table. That it was commonly in fact a special 
dish at inaugural banquets there is evidence in the 
comedies of Plautus/ Dog's blood is supposed to 
be the best remedy for arrow poison, and this animal 
seems also to have shown mankind the use of emetics. 
Other highly praised remedies from the dog I shall 
speak of on the appropriate occasions. I will now 
go on with my proposed plan./ 

XV. For snake bites efficacious remedies are con- Snake bites. 
sidered to be fresh dung of sheep boiled down in wine 

and applied, and mice 9 cut in two and placed on the 
wound. The nature of mice is not to be despised, 
especially in their agreement, as I have said, A with 
the heavenly bodies, for the number of their liver 
filaments becomes greater or less with the light of 
the moon. The Magi declare that if a mouse's liver 

f Of classifying remedies according to diseases. 
9 The Latin word will include rats. 
h See II. § 109 and XI. § 196. 



PLINY: NATLRAL HISTORY 

porcis in fico sequi dantem id animal, in homine 
quoque similiter valere, sed resolvi cyatho olei poto. 

60 XVI. Mustelarum * duo genera, alterum silvestre ; 
distant magnitudine, Graeci vocant ictidas. harum 
fel contra aspidas dicitur efficax, cetero venenum. 
haec autem quae in domibus nostris oberrat et catulos 
suos, ut auctor est Cicero, cottidie transfert mutatque 
sedem, serpentes persequitur. ex ea inveterata sale 
denarii pondus in cyathis tribus datur percussis aut 
ventriculus coriandro fartus inveteratusque et in vino 
potus, et catulus 2 mustelae etiam efficacius. 

61 XVII. Quaedam pudenda dictu tanta auctorum 
adseveratione commendantur ut praeterire fas non 
sit, siquidem illa concordia rerum aut repugnantia 
medicinae gignuntur, veluti cimicum animalis foedis- 
simi et dictu quoque fastidiendi natura contra ser- 
pentium morsus et praecipue aspidum valere dicitur, 
item contra venena omnia, argumento, quod dicant 
gallinas quo die ederint non interfici ab aspide carnes 

62 quoque earum percussis plurimum prodesse. ex his 
quae tradunt humanissimum est inlinere morsibus 
cum sanguine testudinis, item suffitu eorum abigere 
sanguisugas adhaerentes haustasque ab animalibus 
restinguere in potu datis, quamquam et oculos quidam 
his inungunt tritis cum sale et lacte mulierum, 

1 Warmington genera; distant magnitudine, alterum 
silvestre, coni. 

2 et catulus E r vulg., Mayhoff : et catulu multi codd. : ex 
catulis coni. Dethfsen. 



' I d a lost work. 
222 



BOOK XXIX. xv. 59-xvii. 62 

in a fig is offered to pigs, that animal will follow the 
offerer, adding that it has a similar effect on a human 
being also, but that the spell is broken by drinking 
a cyathus of oil. 

XVI. Of weasels there are two kinds, one wild and 
larger than the other, called by the Greeks ictis. 
The gall of both is said to be efficacious against asps, 
though otherwise poisonous. The other kind, how- 
ever, which strays about our homes, and moves daily, 
as Cicero tells us, a its nest and kittens, chases away 
snakes. Its flesh, preserved in salt and given in 
doses of one denarius by weight, is given in three 
cyathi of drink to those who have been bitten, or its 
stomach stuffed with coriander seed is kept to dry 
and taken in wine. A kitten of the weasel is even 
better still for this purpose. 

XVII. Certain things, revolting to speak of, are so 
strongly recommended by our authorities that it 
would not be right to pass them by, if it is indeed true 
that medicines are produced by that famous sym- 
pathy and antipathy between things. The nature for 
instance of bugs, a most foul creature and nauseating 
even to speak of, is said to be effective against the 
bite of serpents, and especially of asps, as also against 
all poisons. As proof, they say that hens are not 
killed by an asp on the day they have eaten bugs, 
and that their flesh then is most beneficial to such as 
have been bitten. Of the accounts given the least 
disgusting is how they are applied to bites with the 
blood of a tortoise, how fumigation with them makes 
leeches loose their hold, and how they destroy leeches 
swallowed by animals if administered in drink. 
And yet some actually anoint the eyes with bugs 
pounded in salt and woman's milk, and the ears with 

227, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

auresque cum melle et rosaceo admixtis. eos qui 
agrestes sint et in malva nascantur crematos cinere 

63 permixto rosaceo infundunt auribus. cetera quae 
de his tradunt, vomitionum et quartanarum remedia 
aliorumque morborum, quamquam ovo aut cera aut 
faba inclusos censeant devorandos, falsa nec referenda 
arbitror. lethargi tantum medicinae cum argumento 
adhibent, quoniam vincatur aspidum somnifica vis, 
septenos in cyatho aquae dantes, puerilibus annis 
quaternos. et in stranguria fistulae inposuere. 

64 adeo nihil parens illa rerum omnium sine ingentibus 
causis genuit. quin et adalligatos laevo bracchio 
binos lana subrepta pastoribus resistere nocturnis 
febribus prodiderunt, diurnis in russeo panno. rursus 
his adversatur scolopendra suffituque enecat. 

65 XVIII. Aspides percussos torpore et somno necant 
omnium serpentium minime sanabiles. sed venenum 
earum si sanguinem attingit aut recens vulnus, statim 
interemit, si inveteratum ulcus, tardius. de cetero 
potum quantalibet copia non nocet, non enim est 
tabifica vis, itaque occisa morsu earum animalia cibis 
innoxia sunt. cunctarer in proferendo ex his 
remedio, ni M. Varro LXXIII vitae anno prodidisset 
aspidum ictus efficacissime sanari hausta a percussis 
ipsorum urina. 

66 XIX. Basilisci, quem etiam serpentes ipsae fugiunt, 
alias olfactu necantem, qui hominem, vel si aspiciat 
224 



BOOK XXIX. xvn. 62-xix. 66 

bugs in honey and rose oil. Those which are field 
bugs and found in mallows are burnt, and the ash 
mixed with rose oil is poured into the ears. The 
other virtues attributed to bugs, that they are cures 
for vomiting, quartans, and other diseases, although 
it is prescribed that they should be swallowed in 
egg, wax, or a bean, I hold to be imaginary and not 
worth repeating. Only as a remedy for lethargy are 
they employed with reason, for they overcome the 
narcotic poison of asps, and are given in doses of 
seven in a cyathus of water, and for children in doses 
of four. For strangury bugs have been inserted into 
the urethra. So true it is that the Universal Mother 
gave birth to nothing without very good reasons. 
Furthermore, a couple of bugs attached to the left 
arm in wool stolen from shepherds have been said to 
keep away night fevers, and day fevers when attached 
in a red cloth. On the other hand, the scolopendra 
is their enemy, and kills them by fumigation. 

XVIII. Asps kill those they strike by torpor and Asps. 
coma, inflicting of all serpents the most incurable 
bites. But their venom, if it comes into contact 
with the blood or a fresh wound, is immediately 
fatal, if with an old sore, its action is delayed. Apart 
from this, however much is drunk, it is harmless, 
having no corrosive property. And so the flesh of 
animals killed by their bite may be eaten with safety. 

I should hesitate to put forward a remedy obtained 
from these creatures, had not Marcus Varro, in 
the seventy-third year of his life, recorded that a 
sovereign remedy for asp bites is for the victim to 
drink his own urine. 

XIX. The basilisk, which puts to flight even the ThebasMsk. 
very serpents, killing them sometimes by its smell, 

225 

\OL. VIII. I 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tantuin, dicitur interimere, sanguinem Magi miris 
laudibus celebrant coeuntem picis modo et colore, 
dilutum cinnabari clariorem fieri. attribuunt ei suc- 
cessus petitionum a potestatibus et a diis etiam pre- 
cum, morborum remedia, veneficiorum amuleta. 
quidam id Saturni sanguinem appellant. 

67 XX. Draco non habet venena. caput eius limini 
ianuarum subditum propitiatis adoratione diis for- 
tunatam domum facere promittitur, oculis eius in- 
veteratis et cum melle tritis inunctos non expavescere 
ad nocturnas imagines etiam pavidos, cordis pingue 
in pelle dorcadum nervis cervinis adalligatum in 
lacerto conferre iudiciorum victoriae, primum * 
spondylum aditus potestatium mulcere, dentes eius 
inligatos pellibus caprearum cervinis nervis mites 
praestare dominos potestatesque exorabiles. sed 

68 super omnia est compositio qua invictos faciunt 
Magorum mendacia : cauda draconis et capite, pilis 
leonis e fronte et medulla eiusdem, equi victoris 
spuma, canis ungue adalligatis cervino corio nervis- 
que cervi alternatis et dorcadis. quae coarguisse non 
minus referet quam contra serpentes remedia demon- 
strasse, quoniam et haec Magorum 2 veneficia 3 sunt. 

1 victoriae, primum codd., Detlefsen : victoriae plurimum, 
Mayhoff. 

2 Magorum Detlefsen : illorum Mayhoff : morum VR : 
morborum d E vulg. 

3 veneficia VRd, Mayhoff : beneficia E vulg., Detlefsen. 



" Or, " when diluted with cinnabar." 

b Probably the python and similar snakes. 



226 



BOOK XXIX. xix. 66-xx. 68 

is said to be fatal to a man if it only looks at him. Its 
blood the Magi praise to the skies, telling how it 
thickens as does pitch, and resembles pitch in colour, 
but becomes a brighter red than cinnabar when 
diluted. They claim that by it petitions to poten- 
tates, and even prayers to the gods, are made success- 
ful ; that it provides cures for disease and amulets 
against sorcery. Some call it " Saturn's blood." 

XX. The dragon b has no venom. Its head, buried Draco. 
under the threshold of doors after the gods have been 
propitiated by worship, brings, we are assured, good 
luck to a home ; those rubbed with an ointment of 
his eyes, dried and beaten up with honey, are not 
panic-stricken, however nervous, by phantoms of the 
night; the fat of the heart, tied in the skin of a 
gazelle on the upper arm by deer sinew, makes for 
victory in law-suits ; the first c vertebra smooths the 
approach to potentates ; and its teeth, wrapped in 
the skin of a roe and tied on with deer sinew, make 
masters kind and potentates gracious. But all these 
are nothing compared with a mixture that the lying 
Magi assert makes men invincible, composed of : the 
tail and head of a dragon, hair from the forehead of 
a lion and lion's marrow, foam of a victorious race- 
horse, and the claw of a dog, all attached in deer hide 
with deer sinew and gazelle sinew plaited alternately. 
To expose these lies will be no less worth while than to 
describe their remedies for snake bite, for these too 
are some of the sorceries d of the Magi. Dragon's 

c With Mayhoff's emendation : " great success in law-suits, 
a vertebra smooths etc." 

d With Detlefsen's reading : " for these too are among the 
blessings bestowed by the Magi." This, if sarcastic, makes 
sense. 

227 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

draconum adipem venenata fugiimt, item, si uratur, 
ichneumonum, fugiunt et urtieis tritis in aceto 
perunctos. 

69 XXI. Yiperae caput inpositum, vel alterius quani 
quae percusserit, sine fine x prodest, item si quis ipsam 
eam in vapore baculo sustineat, aiunt enim re- 2 
eanere, item si quis exustae eiusdem cinere inlinat. 
reverti autem ad percussum serpentem necessitate 
naturae Nigidius auctor est. caput quidam 3 dissecant 
scite 4 inter aures ad eximendum lapillum quem 
aiunt ab ea devorari territa. alii ipso toto capite 

70 utuntur. tiunt ex vipera pastilli qui theriaci vocantur 
a Graecis, ternis digitis mensura utrimque ampu- 
tatis exemptisque interaneis et livore spinae ad- 
haerente, reliquo corpore in patina ex aqua et aneto 
discocto spinisque exemptis et addita similagine 
atque ita in umbra siccatis pastillis quibus ad multa 
medicamenta utuntur. significandum videtur e vipera 
tantum hoc fieri. quidam purgatae ut supra dictum 
est adipem cum olei sextario decocunt ad dimidias. 
ex eo, cum opus sit, ternis stillis additis in oleum 
perunguntur ut omnes bestiae fugiant eos. 

71 XXII. Praeterea constat contra omnium ictus 
quamvis insanabiles ipsarum serpentium exta inposita 
auxiliari, eosque qui aliquando viperae iecur coctum 
hauserint numquam postea feriri a serpente. neque 
anguis venenatus est nisi per mensem 5 luna instiga- 

1 Warmington percusserit, sane prodest coni 

2 recanere Sillig (cf. XXVIII. 19) : praecanere codd. 

3 quidam VTE: quidem aliquot codd. 

4 scite VTE: Scythae aliquot codd. 

5 per mensem R vulg. Mayhoff, qui primo mense coni. 

a Mayhoff s primo mense would mean : " in the early part 
of the month." A contraction oiprimo might easily be taken 



BOOK XXIX. xx. 68-xxn. 71 

fat is shunned by venomous creatures, and so too, 
when burnt, is that of the ichneumon ; they shun 
too those rubbed with nettles pounded in vinegar. 

XXI. The head of a viper, placed on the bite, even The viper. 
though the same viper did not inflict it, is infinitely 
beneficial, as is the snake itself, held up on a stick in 
steam — it is said to undo the harm done — or if the 

viper is burnt and the ash applied. But Nigidius 
asserts that a serpent instinctively comes back to the 
person it has bitten. Some split skilfully the head 
between the ears, in order to extract the pebble it is 
said to swallow when alarmed, but others use the en- 
tire head itself. From the viper are made the lozenges 
called by the Greeks theriaci. Lengths of three fingers 
are cut off from head and tail, the intestines drawn 
with the livid part that adheres to the spine, the rest 
of the body, with the vertebrae extracted and fine 
flour added, is thoroughly boiled in a pan of water with 
dill, and the mixture dried in the shade and made into 
lozenges, which are used in making many medica- 
ments. We must note, it appears, that only from 
the viper can the preparation be made. Some take 
the fat from the body, cleaned as described above, 
boil down with a sectarius of oil to one-half, add 
three drops from it when necessary to oil, and use as 
ointment to keep off all harmful creatures. 

XXII. Furthermore, it is well known that the Snakes. 
application of the entrails of a serpent itself is a help 

for the bites however hard to cure of any of them, and 
that those who once have swallowed the boiled liver 
of a viper are never afterwards bitten by a serpent. 
A snake too is venomous only when during the month a 

for per, and the change of mense to mensem would naturally 
follow. 

229 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tus, et prodest vivus conprehensus et in aqua con- 

72 tusus, si foveantur ita morsus. quin et inesse ei 
remedia multa creduntur. ut digeremus, et idco 
Aesculapio dicatur. Democritus quidem monstra 
quaedam ex his l confingit ut possint avium sermones 
intellegi. 2 anguis Aesculapius Epidauro Romam 
advectus est vulgoque pascitur et in domibus, ac nisi 
incendiis semina exurerentur, non esset fecunditati 
eorum resistere. 3 in orbe terrarum puleherrimum 
anguium genus est quod et in aqua vivit, hydri 
vocantur, nullo serpentium inferiores veneno. horum 
iecur servatum adversus percussos ab his auxilium 
est. scorpio tritus stelionum veneno adversatur. 

73 fit enim ex stelionibus malum medicamentum. 
nam cum inmortuus est vino, faciem eorum qui 
biberint lentigine obducit. ob hoc in unguento 
necant eum insidiantes pelicum formae. remedium 
est ovi luteum et mel ac nitrum. fel stelionum tritum 
in aqua mustelas congregare dicitur. 

74 XXIII. Inter omnia venenata salamandrae scelus 
maximum est. cetera enim singulos feriunt. nec 

1 ex his codd. : et hic coni. Mayhoff : an post ut ponendum ? 

2 Post intellegi excidisse angue devorato putat Mayhoff. 
Fortasse devorato angue. 

3 Punctum non post resistere sed post terraruin ponil May- 
hoff ex cod. Dal. : in urbe. terrestrium coni. Mayhoff. 



a The words ex his seeni in the wrong place, and Mayhoff 
would change to et hic, " here too." A transposition to the 
ut clause would be simpler. 

6 If the words in orbe terrarum arc placcd here the meaning 
will bc : " a plague all over the world," and in domibus : " in 
homes cverywhere." 

230 



BOOK XXIX. xxn. 71-xxm. 74 

it is angered by the moon, and it is beneficial if a 
snake is caught alive, beaten up in water, and a bite 
fomented with the preparation. Moreover, many 
remedies are believed to be obtained from a snake, as 
I shall relate in their proper order, and this is why it is 
sacred to Aesculapius. Democritus indeed invents 
some weird stories about snakes, how for instance they 
make it a possible to understand the language of birds. 
The Aesculapian snake was brought to Rome from 
Epidaurus, and a snake is commonly kept as a pet even 
in our homes ; so that were not their eggs destroyed 
in fires there would be an incurable plague of them. 6 
The most beautiful snake in the world is the kind, 
called hydri, that is amphibious, no other snake being 
more venomous. Its liver when preserved does good 
to those who have been bitten. c The scorpion when 
pounded up counteracts the poison of the spotted 
lizard, d for there is made from these lizards an evil 
drug : if one has been drowned in wine it covers the 
face of those who drink it with an eruption of freckle- 
like spots. So women, plotting to spoil the beauty 
of rival courtezans, kill a spotted lizard in the oint- 
ment used by them. The remedy is yolk of egg, 
honey. and soda. The gall of this kind of lizard, 
beaten up in water, is said to attract weasels. 

XXIII. Of all venomous creatures the salamander 
is the most wicked, for while the others strike 

c In this chapter there is certainly a distinction between 
serpens and anguis. It is especially noticeable in § 71, where 
neque anguis follows immediately after a serpente. In this 
part of Pliny, at any rate, anguis includes the common or grass 
snake, but the proverb latet anguis in herba shows that it 
sometimes meant a poisonous serpent. Littre is not con- 
sistent; after using couleurre in § 71, he later uses serpent. 

d Often called gecko. 

231 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

plures pariter interimunt, ut omittam quod perire 
conseientia dicuntur homine percusso neque amplius 
admitti a terra, salamandra populos pariter necare 
inprovidos potest. nam si arbori inrepsit, omnia 
poma inficit veneno, et eos qui ederint necat frigida 

75 vi nihil aconito distans. quin immo si contacto ab 
ea ligno vel lapidi x crusta panis inponatur, idem vene- 
ficium est, vel si in puteum cadat, quippe cum saliva 
eius quacumque parte corporis vel in pede imo 
respersa omnis in toto corpore defluat pilus. tamen 
talis ac tanti veneni a quibusdam animalium, ut subus, 

76 manditur. dominante, eadem illa rerum dissidentia 
venenum eius restingui primum omnium ab his quae 
vescantur illa verisimile est, ex his vero quae pro- 
bantur cantharidum potu aut lacerta in cibo sumpta. 
cetera adversantia diximus dicemusque suis locis. 
ex ipsa quae Magi tradunt contra incendia, quoniam 
ignes sola animalium extinguat, si forent vera, iam 
esset experta Roma. Sextius venerem accendi cibo 
earum, si detractis interaneis et pedibus et capite in 
melle serventur, tradit negatque restingui ignem ab 
his. 

77 XXIV. E volucribus in auxilium contra serpentes 
primum vultures. adnotatum quoque minus virium 

1 vel lapidi crusta panis inponatur Mayhoff, sed sine vel, 
quod ego servo : vel pedis crista panis incocatur Detlefsen : vel 
pidis V'd : vel pedis E : crista V'R : invocatur R'E : inco- 
catur multi codd. : " sed locus nondum sanatus" Mayhoff. 



a See §§ 92-94, where applied externally cantharides are 
said to be useful, but taken in drink poisonous. 

6 The salamander of modern zoology is a timid creature, 
and not vcnomous to man. 

232 



BOOK XXIX. xxilL 74-xxiv. 77 

individuals, and do not kill several together, to sav 
nothing (according to report) of their dying of remorse 
when they have bitten a man, and of earth's refusal to 
grant them further admission, the salamander can kill 
whole tribes unawares. For if it has crawled into a 
tree, it infects with its venom all the fruit, killing like 
aconite by its freezing property those who have eaten 
of it. Nay , moreover, if a slice of bread is placed upon 
wood or stone that has been touched by a salamander, 
or if one falls into a well, the bread and the water, 
like the fruit, are poisoned, while all the hair on the 
whole body falls off if its saliva has sprinkled any part 
whatever of the body, even the sole of the foot. 
Xevertheless, although it is so venomous a creature, 
some animals, such as pigs, eat it. Under the swav 
of that same antipathy between things it is likely that 
his venom is neutralized best of all by those who eat 
the salamander ; but among approved remedies are 
cantharides ° taken in drink or a lizard taken in food. 
The other antidotes I have spoken of, and shall speak 
of, in the appropriate places. As to the power to 
protect against fires, which the Magi attribute to 
the animal, since according to them 110 other can put 
fire out, could the salamander really do so, Rome bv 
trial would have already found out. Sextius tells us 
that as food the salamander, preserved in honey after 
entrails, feet, and head have been cut away, is 
aphrodisiac, but he denies its power to put fire out.^ 
XXIV. Of birds, the chief protection against 
serpents is the vulture, and it has been noticed 
that there is less power c in the black vulture. 

e Pliny uses the plural (virium) because Latin has no 
genitive singular of vis. The phrase can hardly mean that a 
black vulture is a weaker bird than other vultures. 

233 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

esse nigris. pinnarum ex his x nidore, si urantur, 
fugari eas dicunt, item cor eius alitis habentes tutos 
esse ab impetu non solum serpentium sed etiam 
ferarum latronumque et regum ira. 

78 XXV. Carnibus gallinaceorum ita ut tepebunt 
avulsae adpositis venena serpentium domantur, 
item cerebro in vino poto. Parthi gallinae malunt 
cerebrum plagis inponere. ius quoque ex his potum 
praeclare medetur et in multis aliis usibus mirabile. 
Pantherae, leones non attingunt perunctos eo, prae- 

79 cipue si et alium fuerit incoctum. alvum solvit 
validius e vetere gallinaceo, prodest et contra longin- 
quas febres et torpentibus membris tremulisque et 
articulariis morbis et capitis doloribus, epiphoris, 
inflationibus, fastidiis, incipiente tenesmo, iocineri, 
renibus, vesicae, contra cruditates, suspiria. itaque 
etiam faciendi eius extant praecepta : efficacius coci 
cum olere marino aut cybio aut cappari aut apio aut 
herba Mercuriali, polypodio aut aneto, utilissime 
autem in conijiis tribus aquae ad tres heminas cum 
supra dictis herbis et refrigeratum sub diu dari 
tempestivis antecedente vomitione. non praeteribo 
miraculum quamquam ad medicinam non pertinens : 
si auro liquescenti gallinarum membra misceantur, 
consumunt id in se. ita hoc venenum auri est. at 
gallinacei ipsi circulo e ramentis addito in collum 
non canunt. 

1 his codd. : alis Mayhoff, e Sereno. 

a Mayhoffs correction, alis for his, would give " burning 
wing-feathers.'' 

234 



BOOK XXIX. xxiv. 77-xxv. 79 

They say that the fumes of their a burning feathers 
chase serpents away, and that those who carrv 
about them a vulture's heart are protected not 
only from the attacks of serpents, but also from 
those of wild beasts, bandits, and angry poten- 
tates. 

XXV. The flesh of chickens, torn away and applied Chickens. 
warm to the bite, overcomes the venom of serpents, 
as will also a chicken's brain taken in wine. The 
Parthians prefer to put on the wound the brain of 
a hen. Chicken broth also, taken by the mouth, 
is a splendid remedy, being wonderfully good for 
many other purposes. Panthers and lions do not 
touch those rubbed over with this broth, especially if 
garlic has been boiled in it. A rather powerful purge 
is the broth of an old cock, which is also good for 
prolonged fevers, paralysed and palsied limbs, 
diseases of the joints, headaches, eye-fluxes, flatu- 
lence, loss of appetite, incipient tenesmus, complaints 
of liver, kidneys, and bladder, indigestion and asthma. 
And so instructions even are current for making it : 
they tell us that it is more effective boiled with sea- 
cabbage, or tunny-nsh, or caper, or celery, or the 
herb mercury, with polypodium or dill, but most 
beneficial when three congii of water are boiled down 
to three heminae, with the above-mentioned herbs, 
cooled in the open air and administered, the 
best time being when an emetic has preceded. I 
will not pass over a marvel, though it has nothing to 
do with medicine : if the limbs of hens are stirred up 
in melted gold they absorb it all into themselvcs, 
so violent a poison of gold is chicken. But cocks 
themselves do not crow if they have a collar of gold 
shavings round their necks. 

2 35. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

81 XXVI. Auxiliatur contra serpentes et columbarum 
caro recens concerpta et hirundinum, bubonis pedes 
usti cum plumbagine herba. nec omittam in hac 
quoque alite exemplum magicae vanitatis, quippe 
praeter reliqua portentosa mendacia cor eius in- 
positum mammae mulieris dormientis sinistrae 
tradunt emcere ut omnia secreta pronuntiet, prae- 

82 terea in pugnam ferentes id fortiores fieri. eiusdem 
ovo ad capillum remedia demonstrant. quis enim, 
quaeso, ovum bubonis umquam visere potuit, cum 
ipsam avem vidisse prodigium sit? quis utique 
experiri et praecipue in capillo? sanguine quidem 
pulli bubonis etiam crispari capillum promittunt. 

83 cuius generis prope videri possint quae tradunt et 
de vespertilione, si ter circumlatus domui vivus per * 
fenestram inverso capite infigatur, amuletum esse, 
privatimque ovilibus circumlatum totiens et pedibus 
suspensum susum super limine. sanguinem quoque 
eius cum carduo contra serpentium ictus inter 
praecipua laudant. 

84 XXVII. Phalangium est Italiae ignotum et plurium 
generum : unum simile formicae, sed multo maius, 
rufo capite, reliqua parte corporis nigra, albis guttis. 
acerbior huius quam vespae ictus. vivit maxime 
circa furnos et molas. in remedio est, si quis eiusdem 
generis alterum percusso ostendat, et ad hoc ser- 
vantur mortui. inveniuntur et cortices eorum qui 
triti et poti medentur ; mustelae catuli ut supra. 2 

1 per codd. : super Mayhoff. 

2 mustelae catuli ut supra.] Omittunt Urlichs et Detlefsen. 

a With Mayhoff's reading " over." 

6 Why mortui (masculine) when phalangium is neuter ? 
Perhaps aranei was in Plinv's mind. 

c See § 60 of this Book. 
236 



BOOK XXIX. xxvi. 81 -xxvii. 84 

XXVI. A help against snake-bite is also flesh of Remedies: 
doves or swallows freshly torn away. and the feet of a fror 
horned owl burnt with the herb plumbago. Speakin^ 

of this bird I will not omit a specimen of Magian 
fraud, for besides their other monstrous lies they 
declare that an horned owl's heart, placed on the left 
breast of a sleeping woman, makes her tell all her 
secrets, and that men carrying it into battle are made 
braver by it. From the horned owl's egg they 
prescribe recipes for the hair. Now who, I ask, 
could have ever looked at an horned owl's egg, when 
it is a portent to have seen the bird itself ? Who in 
any case could have tried it, particularly on the hair r 
The blood, indeed, of a horned owl's chick is 
guaranteed even to curl the hair. Of much the same 
kind would seem to be also their stories about the 
bat : that if carried alive three times round the house 
and then fastened head downwards through a the 
window, it acts as a talisman, and is specifically such 
to sheepfolds if carried round them three times and 
hung up by the feet over the threshold. Its blood 
also with "thistle the Magi praise as one of the 
sovereign remedies for snake-bite. 

XXVII. The phalangium is unknown to Italy and The 

of several kinds. One is like the ant, but much vhoiangium 
larger, having a red head and the rest of the body 
black with white spots. Its wound is more painful 
than that of the wasp, and it lives especially near 
furnaces and mills. One remedy is to show to the 
bitten person another phalangium of the same kind ; 
for this purpose are kept dead b specimens. Their 
dry bodies are also found, which are pounded and 
taken as a remedy, as are a weasel's young prepared 
as I have described. Among classes of spiders the 

237 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

85 aeque phalangion Graeci vocant inter genera ara- 
neorum, scd distingunt ltipi nomine. tertium genus 
est eodem phalangi nomine araneus lanuginosus 
grandissimo capite, quo dissecto inveniri intus 
dicuntur vermiculi duo adalligatique mulieribus pelle 
cervina ante solis ortum praestare ne concipiant, ut 
Caecilius in commentariis reliquit. vis ea annua est, 
quam solam ex omni atocio dixisse fas sit, quoniam 
aliquarum fecunditas plena liberis tali venia indiget. 

86 vocatur et rhox acino nigro similis, ore minimo sub 
alvo, pedibus brevissimis tamquam inperfectis. 
dolor a morsu eius qualis a scorpione, urina similis 
araneis textis. idem erat asterion, nisi distingueretur 
virgulis albis. huius morsus genua labefactat. peior 
utroque est caeruleus, lanugine nigra, caliginem 
concitans et vomitus araneosos. etiamnum deterior 
a crabrone pinna tantum differens. hic et ad 

87 maciem perducit. myrmecion formicae similis capite, 
alvo nigra, guttis albis distinguentibus, vesparum 
dolore torquet. tetragnathii duo genera habent : 
peior medium caput distinguente linea alba et trans- 
versum altera ; hic oris tumorem facit. at cinereus 
posteriore parte candicans lentior, minime autem 
noxius eodem colore qui telas muscis in parietibus 

88 latissime pandit. contra omnium morsus remedio est 
gallinaceorum cerebrum cum piperis exiguo potum iri 



a Or: " and then the nrine looks like spirier's web." 
b I.e., " four-jawed." 



238 



BOOK XXIX. xxvii. 85-88 

Greeks also include a phalangion which they dis- 
tinguish by the name of " wolf." There is also a 
third kind of phalangium, a hairy spider with an 
enormous head. When this is cut open, there are 
said to be found inside two little worms, which, tied 
in deer skin as an amulet on women before sunrise, 
act as a contraceptive, as Caecilius has told us in his 
Commentarii. They retain this property for a year. 
Of all such preventives this only would it be right for 
me to mention, to help those women who are so 
prolific that they stand in need of such a respite. 
There is another phalangium called rhox, like a black 
grape, with a verv small mouth under the abdomen, 
and very short legs as though not fully grown. Its 
bite is as painful as a scorpion's sting, forming in the 
urine as it were spider's web. a The asterion is exactly 
like it, except that it is marked with white streaks. 
Its bite makes the knees weak. Worse than either 
is the blue spider ; it is covered with black hair, and 
causes dimness of vision and vomit like spider's web. 
There is an even worse phalangium, which differs 
from the hornet only in having no wings. The bite 
from one of this kind also makes the body thin. The 
myrmecion in its head resembles the ant, with a 
black body marked by white spots, and a bite as 
painful as a wasp. There are two kinds of the 
phalangium called tetragnathius, 6 the worse of which 
has two white lines crossed on the middle of its head, 
and its bite makes the mouth swell ; but the ash- 
coloured kind, which is whitish in its hind part, is less 
vicious. Least dangerous of all is the ash-coloured 
spider which spins its web all over our walls to catch 
flies. For the bites of all spiders remedial is a cock's 
brain with a little pepper taken in vinegar and water, 

239 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

posca, item formicae quinque potae, pecudum nnii 
cinis inlitus ex aceto et ipsi aranei quicumque in oleo 
putrefacti. muris aranci morsus sanatur coagulo agni 
e vino * poto, ungulae arietinae cinere cum melle, 
mustelae catulo ut in serpentibus dictum est. si 
iumenta momorderit, mus recens cum sale inponitur 

89 aut fel vespertilionis ex aceto. et ipse mus araneus 
contra se remedio est divulsus inpositus. nam si 
praegnas momordit, protinus dissilit. optimum, si 
is inponatur qui momorderit, sed et alios ad hunc 
usum servant in oleo aut luto circumlitos. est et 
contra morsum eius remedio terra ex orbita, ferunt 
enim non transiri ab eo orbitam torpore quodam 
naturae. 

90 XX VI II. Scorpionibus contrarius maxime invicem 
stelio traditur, ut visu quoque pavorem his adferat et 
torporem frigidi sudoris. itaque in oleo putrefaciunt 
eum et ita ea vulnera perungunt. quidam oleo illo 
spumam argenteam decocunt ad emplastri genus 
atque ita inlinunt. hunc Graeci coloten vocant et 
ascalaboten et galeoten. in Italia non nascitur. 
est enim hic plenus lentigine, stridoris acerbi, et 
vescitur araneis, 2 quae omnia a nostris stelionibus 
aliena sunt. 

91 XXIX. Prodest et gallinarum fimi cinis inlitus, 
draconis iocur, lacerta divulsa, mus divulsus, scorpio 

1 agni e vino ex Plinio Iuniore Mayhoff : agnino Detlefsen : 
agne vino r : anguino Vd. 

2 araneis add. Urlichs ex Arist. Hist. Anim. IX. 1 : herba 
vet. Dal. : vermibus coni. Ianus : illis (sc. scorpionibus) coni. 
Mayhoff. 



a See § 60 of this Book. 

b Possibly invicem here means " mutuallv." 



240 



BOOK XXIX. xxvii. 88-xxix. 91 

five ants also taken in drink, the ash of sheep's dung 
applied in vinegar, or spiders themselves of any sort 
that have rotted in oil. 

The bite of the shrew-mouse is healed by lamb's Theshrew- 
rennet taken in wine, by the ash of a ram's hoof with mouse - 
honey, and by a young weasel, as I have prescribed 
for snake-bite.° If it has bitten draught-animals, a 
freshly killed mouse is applied with salt, or a bat's 
gall in vinegar. The shrew-mouse itself, torn 
asunder and applied, is a remedy for its own bite ; 
but if a pregnant shrew-mouse has bitten, it bursts 
open at once. It is best if the mouse applied is the 
one which gave the bite, but they preserve them for 
this purpose in oil, or enclosed in clay. Another 
remedv for its bite is earth from a wheel rut. For 
they say that it will not cross a wheel rut owing to a 
sort of natural torpor. 

XXVIII. The stelio is said in its turn^ to be such a uzards. 
great enemy to scorpions that the mere sight of one 
strikes them with panic, and torpor with cold sweat. 
Accordingly they let it rot in oil and so smear on 
scorpion wounds. Some boil down that oil with 
litharge to make a sort of ointment which they thus 
apply. This lizard the Greeks call colotes, ascala- 
botes, or, galeotes. This kind is not found in Italy, 

for it is covered with spots, has a shrill cry, and feeds 
on spiders, all which characteristics are lacking in 
our stelios. c 

XXIX. Beneficial too is ash of hen's dung applied, 
the liver of a python,'* a lizard or a mouse torn open, 

c Pliny has just said that the stelio is not native to Italy, 
but now speaks of " our stehos." Littre translates " nos 
lezards," taking nostris stelionibus to be used loosely. 

d See XXIX. § 67, 68. 

241 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ipse suae plagae inpositus aut assus in cibo sumptus 
aut potus in meri cyathis duobus. proprium est 
scorpionum quod manus palmam non feriunt nec 
nisi * pilosa 2 attingere. lapillus qualiscumque ab ea 
parte quae in terra erat adpositus plagae levat 
dolorem, item testa terra operta ex aliqua parte sicut 
erat inposita liberare dicitur — non debent respicere 
qui inponunt et cavere ne sol aspiciat — vermes terreni 

02 triti inpositi. multa et alia ex his remedia sunt 
propter quae in melle servantur. noctua apibus 
contraria et vespis crabronibusque et sanguisugis, 
pici quoque Martii rostrum secum habentes non 
feriuntur ab his. adversantur et locustarum minimae 
sine pinnis, quas attelebos vocant. est et formicarum 
genus venenatum, non fere iii Italia. solipugas 
Cicero appellat, salpugas Baetica, his cor vesperti- 
lionis contrarium omnibusque formicis. salamandris 
cantharidas diximus resistere. 

93 XXX. Sed in his magna quaestio, quoniam ipsae 
venena sunt potae vesicae cum cruciatu praecipuo. 
Cossinum equitem Romanum amicitia Neronis 
principis notum, cum is lichene correptus esset, 
vocatus Aegypto medicus ob hanc valetudinem eius 
a Caesare, cum cantharidum potum praeparare 
voluisset, interemit. verum inlitas prodesse non 
dubium est cum suco taminiae uvae et sebo ovis vel 

1 nisi codd. : visi Io. Muller, Mayhoff. 

- pilosa Ianus, Detlefsen : pilos Mayhoff, codd. 



" With M;i\h</ff's reading : " nor have they been seen to 
touch hairs." The change from quod with the indicative to 
the infinitive attingere is strange, and the emendation visi may 
be right. 

6 See § 76 ofthia Book. 

242 



BOOK XXIX. xxix. 91-xxx. 93 

the scorpion laid on the wound it has itself inflicted, 
or roasted and taken in food or in two cyathi of neat 
wine. Scorpions are peculiar in that they do not 
sting the palm of the hand or touch any but hairv 
parts. a A pebble of any kind, if the part next the 
ground is laid on the wound, relieves the pain, and a 
potsherd too is said to be a cure if a part covered with 
earth is applied just as it was taken up — those making 
the application must not look back, and must take 
care that the sun does not behold them — and another 
cure is an application of pounded earth-worms. 
Manv other remedies are obtained from earth-worms, 
so they are kept in honey for this purpose. The 
night owl is an enemy of bees, wasps, hornets, and 
leeches, and those are not stung by them who carry 
about their person a beak of the woodpecker of Mars. 
Hostile to them are also the smallest of the locusts, 
which are wingless and called attelebi. There is also a 
venomous kind of ant, not generally found in Italy. 
Cicero calls it solipuga and in Baetica it is called 
salpuga. A bat's heart is hostile to these, as it is to 
all ants. I have said b that cantharides are hostile 
to salamanders. 

XXX. But herein arises a much-disputed question, Spanish 
for the fly taken in drink is a poison, causing excru- ^ y ' 
ciating pain in the bladder. Cossinus, a Roman 
knight, well known for his friendship with the 
Emperor Xero, fell a victim to lichen. c Caesar called 
in a specialist physician from Egypt, who decided on 
preliminary treatment with Spanish fly taken in 
drink, and the patient died. But there is no doubt 
that, with juice of taminian grapes, sheep suet, or 
that of a she-goat, an external application is beneficial. 

f See List of Diseases. 

243 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

94 daprae. ipsarum cantharidum venenum in qua parte 
sit non constat inter auctores. alii in pedibus et in 
capite existimant esse, alii negant. convenit tantum 
pinnas earum auxiliari, in quacumque parte sit vene- 
num. ipsae nascuntur ex vermiculo, in spongea 
maxime cynorrhodi quae fit in caule, sed fecundis- 
sime in fraxino; ceterae in alba rosa, minus efficaces. 
potentissimae inter omnes variae, luteis lineis quas 
in pinnis transversas habent, pingues ; multum x in- 
ertiores minutae, latae, pilosae, inutilissimae vero 

95 unius coloris macrae. conduntur in calice fictili non 
picato et linteo conligato, contectae 2 rosa matura, et 
suspenduntur super acetum cum sale fervens donec 
per linteolum vaporentur, postea reponuntur. vis 
earum adurere corpus, crustas obducere. eadem pit- 
yocampis in picea nascentibus, eadem bupresti, simili- 
terque praeparantur. efficacissimae omnes ad lepras, 
lichenas, dicuntur et menses ciere et urinam, ideo 

96 Hippocrates et hydropicis dabat. cantharides ob- 
iectae sunt Catoni Uticensi, ceu venenum vendidisset 
in auctione regia, quoniam eas HS Lx addixerat. 
et sebum autem struthocamelinum tunc venisse 
HS xxx obiter dictum sit, efficacioris ad omnia usus 
quam est anserinus adips. 

1 pingues ; multum Urlichs : multum pingues codd. 

2 contectae lanus : coniecta et Mayhoff : coniectae codd. 



a This description suggests " Robin's pin-cushions," caused 
by the gall-wasp, and not a beetle. There were probably 
several kinds of cantharides. 

244 



BOOK XXIX. xxx. 94-96 

In what part of the Spanish fly a itself the poison lies 
authorities disagree ; some think in the feet and in 
the head, but others say not. The only point agreed 
upon is that, wherever the poison lies, their wings 
help. 6 The fly itself is bred from a grub found in the 
sponge-like substance on the stalk of the wild rose 
especially, but also very plentifully on the ash. The 
third kind breeds on the white rose, but is less 
emcacious. The most potent flies of all are marked 
with yellow lines across their wings and are plump ; 
much less potent are those that are small, broad and 
hairy ; the least useful however are of one colour, 
and thin. They are stored away in an earthen pot, 
not lined with pitch, but the mouth closed with a 
cloth. They are covered with full-blown roses and 
hung over boiling vinegar and salt until the steam, 
passing through the cloth, sufFocates them. Then 
they are stored away. Their property is to cauterise 
the flesh and to form scabs. Of the same character 
is the pine-caterpillar, which is found on the pitch- 
pine, and the buprestis, and they are prepared in a 
similar way. All these are very efficacious for 
leprous sores and lichen. They are also said to be 
emmenagogue and diuretic, and so Hippocrates c 
used them also for dropsy. Spanish fly was the 
subject of a charge against Cato Uticensis that he 
had sold poison at an auction of royal property, for 
he had knocked some down for 60,000 sesterces. 
And I may remark in passing that at this sale there 
was sold for 30,000 sesterces ostrich suet, a far more 
useful fat for all purposes than goose-grease. 

b A mysterious sentence, that might mean either that the 
wings increase the poison, or that they are remedial. 
c Regimen in Acute Diseases, 104. 

245 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

07 XXXI. Diximus et mellis venenati genera ; contra 
utuntur melle in quo apes sint mortuae. idem potum 
in vino remedium est vitiorum quae e cibo piscium 
gignuntur. 

98 XXXII. In canis rabidi morsu tuetur a pavore 
aquae canini capitis cinis inlitus vulneri, oportet 
autem comburi omnia eodem modo, ut semel dica- 
mus, in vase fictili novo argilla circumlito atque ita in 
furnum indito. idem et in potione proficit. quidam 
ob id edendum dederunt. aliqui et vermem e cada- 
vere canino adalligavere menstruave canis in panno 
subdidere calici aut intus x ipsius caudae pilos com- 

99 bustos inseruere vulneri. cor caninum habentem 
fugiunt canes, non latrant vero lingua canina in cal- 
ciamento subdita pollici aut caudam mustelae quae 
abscissa ea dimissa sit habentes. est limus salivac 
sub lingua rabiosi canis qui datus in potu hydrophobos 
fieri non patitur, multo tamen utilissime iocur eius 
qui in rabie momorderit datur, si fieri possit, crudum 
mandendum, sin minus, quoquo modo coctum, aut 

100 ius coctis carnibus. est vermiculus in lingua canum 
qui vocatur a Graecis lytta, quo exempto infantibus 
catulis nec rabidi tiunt nec fastidium sentiunt. idem 
ter igni circumlatus datur morsis a rabioso ne rabidi 

1 intus] " an imos (vel jpotius calciamentis ])ro caliciau- 
tintus) ? " Mayhoff. 



a Book XXI, § 74. 

h Mayhoff' s clever emendation of calciamentis for caliciaut 
intua would give : " placed the fluid in a cloth at the bottom 
(sub-) of the shoes." But it gives rather a strange meaning 
to subdidere, and intus is just possible as indicating the under 
part brlwcon thr tail and the body. 



246 



BOOK XXIX. xxxi. 97-xxxn. ioo 

XXXI. I have also mentioned a kinds of poisonous 
honey. To counteract it honey is used in which bees 
have died. The same honey is also a remedy for ill- 
ness caused by eating fish. 

XXXII. If a person has been bitten by a mad dog, Maddogs 
protection from hydrophobia is given by an applica- J^^f*™" 
tion to the wound of ash from the burnt head of a dog. 

Now all reduction to ash (that I may describe it once 
for all) should be carried out in the following way : 
a new earthen vessel is covered all over with clay and 
so put into a furnace. The same method is also good 
when the ash is to be taken in drink. Some have 
prescribed as a cure eating a dog's head. Others too 
have used as an amulet a worm from a dead dog, or 
placed in a cloth under the cup the sexual fluid of a 
bitch, or have rubbed into the wound the ash from 
the hair under b the tail of the mad dog itself. Dogs 
run away from one who carries a dog's heart, and 
indeed do not bark if a dog's tongue is placed in the 
shoe under the big toe, or at those who carry the 
severed tail of a weasel which has afterwards been 
set free. Under the tongue of a mad dog is a slimy 
saliva, which given in drink prevents hydrophobia, 
but much the most useful remedy is the liver of the 
dog that bit in his madness to be eaten raw, if that 
can be done, if it cannot, cooked in any way, or a 
broth must be made from the boiled flesh. There is 
a little worm c on the tongue of dogs which the 
Greeks call lytta (madness), and if this is taken away 
when they are baby puppies they neither go mad 
nor lose their appetite. It is also carried three times 
round fire and given to those bitten by a mad dog to 

c Really white pustules under the tongue, which break of 
their own aecord when the puppies are twelvc days old. 

247 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fiant. et cerebello gallinaceo occurritur, sed id de- 
voratum anno tantum eo prodest. aiunt et cristam 
galli contritam efficaciter inponi et anseris adipem 
cum melle. saliuntur et carnes eorum qui rabidi 

101 fuerunt ad eadem remedia in cibo dandae. quin et 
necantur catuli statim in aqua ad sexum eius qui 
momorderit, ut iocur crudum devoretur ex iis. pro- 
dest et fimum gallinaceum, dumtaxat rufum, ex 
aceto inpositum et muris aranei caudae cinis, ita 
ut ipse cui abscissa sit vivus dimittatur, glaebula ex 
hirundinum nido inlita ex aceto, vel pulli hirundinis 
combusti.membrana sivesenectus anguium vernatione 
exuta cum cancro masculo ex vino trita, (nam hac J 
etiam per se reposita in arcis armariisque tineas necant) 

102 mali tanta vis est ut urina quoque calcata rabiosi 
canis noceat, maxime ulcus habentibus. remedio est 
fimum caballinum adspersum aceto et calefactum in 
fico inpositum. minus hoc miretur qui cogitet lapi- 
dem a cane morsum usque in proverbium discordiae 
venisse. qui in urinam canis suam egesserit tor- 
porem lumborum sentire dicunt. lacerta, quam sepa, 
alii chalcidem vocant, in vino pota morsus suos sanat. 

103 XXXIII. Yeneficiis ex mustela silvestri factis con- 
trarium est ius gallinacei veteris large haustum, 
peculiariter contra aconita, addi parum salis oporteat ; 
gallinarum fimum, dumtaxat candidum, in hysopo 
decoctum aut mulso, contra venena fungorum boletor- 

1 nara hac ego : nam codd. : hac Mayhoff. 



° A Plinian parenthesis. 

6 The last sentence, bracketed by Mayhoff, has obviously 
been misplaced, but its proper place is not clear. Some 
other sentences seem to be careless. 



248 



BOOK XXIX. xxxii. ioo-xxxiii. 103 

prevent their going mad. The brains of poultry are 
an antidote, but to swallow them gives protection for 
that year only. They say that it is also efficacious to 
apply to the wound a cock's comb pounded up, or 
goose grease with honey. The flesh of dogs that 
have gone mad is also preserved in salt to be used 
for the same purposes given in food. Puppies too of 
the same sex as the bitten patient are immediately 
drowned and their livers swallowed raw. An 
application in vinegar of poultry dung, if it is red, is 
also of advantage, or the ash of a shrew-mouse's tail 
(but the mutilated animal must be set free alive), an 
application in vinegar of a bit of earth from a swallow's 
nest, of the chicks of a swallow reduced to ash, or the 
skin or cast slough of snakes, pounded in wine with a 
male crab ; for by it even when put away by itself in 
chests and cupboards they kill moths. a So great is the 
virulence of this plague that even the urine of a mad 
dog does harm if trodden on, especially to those who 
are suffering from sores. A remedy is an application 
of horse dung sprinkled with vinegar and warmed in 
a fig. Less surprised at all this will be one who 
remembers that " a dog will bite a stone thrown at 
him " has become a proverb to describe quarrelsome- 
ness. It is said that he who voids his own urine on 
that of a dog will suffer numbness in his loins. The 
lizard called seps by some and chalcis by others, if 
taken in wine is a cure for its own bites. 6 

XXXIII. For sorcerers' poisons obtained from the Antidotes for 
wild weasel a remedy is a copious draught of chicken V oisons. 
broth made from an old bird ; it is specific for aconite 
poisoning, and there should be added a dash of salt. 
Hens' dung, provided it is white, boiled down in 
hyssop or honey wine, is used for poisonous fungi and 

249 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

umque, item inflationes ac strangulationes, quod 
miremur, cum, si aliud animal gustaverit id fimum, 

104 torminibus et inrlationibus adficiatur. sanguis anser- 
inus contra lepores marinos valet cum olei aequa por- 
tione, item l contra mala medicamenta omnia — ad- 
servatur cum Lemnia rubrica et spinae albae suco, ut 2 
pastillorum drachmis quinque in cyathis ternis aquae 
bibatur — item mustelae catulus ut supra diximus 
praeparatus. coagulum quoque agninum adversus 
omnia mala medicamenta pollet, item sanguis anatum 
Ponticarum. itaque et spissatus servatur vinoque 
diluitur. quidam feminae anatis efficaciorem putant. 

105 simili modo contra venena omnia ciconiarum ventri- 
culus valet, coagulum pecoris, ius ex carne arietum, 
privatim adversus cantharidas, item lac ovium calidum 
praeterque iis qui buprestim aut aconitum biberint, 
columbarum silvestrium fimum privatim contra 
argenti vivi potum, contra toxica mustela vulgaris in- 
veterata drachmis binis pota. 

106 XXXIV. Alopecias replet fimi pecudum cinis cum 
oleo cyprio et melle, item ungularum muli vel mulae 
ex oleo myrteo, praeterea, ut Varro noster tradit, 
murinum fimura, quod item 3 muscerdas appellat, aut 
muscarum capita recentia prius folio nculneo aspera- 
tas. alii sanguine muscarum utuntur, alii decem die- 
bus cinerem earum inlinunt cum cinere chartae vel 
nucum ita ut sit tertia pars e muscis, alii lacte 
mulierum cum brassica cinerem muscarum subigunt, 

1 itcm codd. : idem Mayhoff. 

2 Post suco add. ut Mayhoff. 

item R vulg. : rite Detlefsen : ille Mayhoff : lite XE : 
linthe d. 



a See § 60. 

250 



BOOK XXIX. xxxiii. 103-xxxiv. 106 

mushrooms, as well as for flatulence and suffocations — 
a matter for wonder, because if any animal save man 
should taste this dung, it will suffer from colic and 
flatulence. Goose blood, with the same quantity of 
oil, is good for the poison of sea hares, also for all 
sorcerers' poisons— it is kept with red Lemnian earth 
and the sap of white thorn, and five drachmae of the 
lozenges should be taken as a dose in three cyathi of 
water — also a baby weasel prepared as I have 
described. Lamb's rennet too is a powerful antidote 
to all sorcerers' poisons, as is the blood of Pontic 
ducks ; and so when thickened it is also stored away 
and dissolved in wine. Some are of opinion that the 
blood of a female duck is more efficacious. In like 
manner general remedies for all poisons are the crop 
of storks, sheep's rennet, the broth of ram's flesh 
(which is specific for cantharides), likewise warmed 
sheeps' milk, which is also good for those who have 
swallowed buprestis or aconite, the dung of wild 
doves (specific if quicksilver has been swallowed), 
and for arrow poisons the common weasel, preserved 
and taken in drink. two drachmae at a time. 

XXXIV. Bald patches through mange are covered Mange. 
again with hair by an application of ash of sheeps' 
dung with cyprus oil and honey, by the hooves, 
reduced to ash, of a mule of either sex, applied in 
myrtle oil ; moreover, as our countryman Yarro 
relates, by mouse dung, which he calls also muscerdae, 
or by the fresh heads of flies, but the patches must first 
be roughened with a fig leaf. Some use the blood 
of flies, others for ten days applv their ash with that 
of paper or nuts, but a third of the whole must be 
that of flies : others make a paste of fly ash, woman's 
miik. and cabbage, while some add honey <>nly. No 

251 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOKY 

quidam melle tantum. millum animal minus docile 
existimatur minorisve intellcctus ; eo mirabilius est 
Olvmpiae sacro certamine nubes earum immolato 
tauro deo quem Myioden vocant extra territorium id 

107 abire. alopecias cinis ex murium capitibus caudisque 
et totius muris emendat, praecipue si veneficio acci- 
derit haec iniuria, item irenacei cinis cum melle aut 
corium combustum cum pice liquida. caput quidem 
eius ustum per se etiam cicatricibus pilos reddit. alo- 
pecias autem in ea curatione praeparari oportet nova- 
cula. et sinapi quidam ex aceto uti maluerunt. 
quae de irenaceo dicentur omnia tanto magis vale- 

108 bunt in hystrice. lacertae quoque ut docuimus com- 
bustae cum radice recentis harundinis, quae ut una 
cremari possit, minutim fmdenda est, ita myrteo oleo 
permixto cineres * capillorum defluvia continent. 
efficacius virides lacertae omnia eadem praestant, 
etiamnum utilius admixto sale et adipe ursino et cepa 
tusa. quidam denas virides in decem sextariis olei 
veteris discocunt, contenti semel in mense unguere. 

109 pellium viperinarum cinis alopecias celerrime explet, 
item gallinarum fimum recens inlitum. corvi ovum 
in aereo vase permixtum inlitumque deraso capite 
migritiam capilli adfert, sed donec inarescat oleum in 
ore habendum est ne et dentes simul nigrescant, 
idque in umbra faciendum neque ante quadriduum 

1 cineres codd. : cinere Mayhojf. 



■' T1m> Flv-catcher, who protected his worshippers from flies. 
* See § 98. 



252 



BOOK XXIX. xxxiv. 106-109 

creature is thought to be less teachable or less intelli- 
gent than the fly ; it is all the more wonderful that at 
the Olympic sacred games, after the bull has been 
sacrificed to the god they call Myiodes," clouds of 
flies depart from out Olympic territory. Hair lost 
by mange is restored by the ash of mice, their heads 
and tails, or their whole bodies, especially when this 
affliction is the result of sorcery ; it is restored too by 
the ash of a hedge-hog mixed with honey, or by its 
burnt skin with liquid pitch. The head indeed of 
this animal, reduced to ash, by itself restores the hair 
even to scars. But for this treatment the patches 
must first be prepared by shaving with a razor. 
Some too have preferred to use mustard in vinegar. 
All that will be said about the hedgehog will apply 
even more to the porcupine. Hair is also prevented 
from falling out by the ash of a lizard that, in the way 
I have described, 6 has been burnt with the root of a 
fresh-cut reed, which must be chopped up fine so that 
the two may be consumed together, an ointment 
being made by the admixture of myrtle-oil. All the 
same results are given more efficaciously by green 
lizards, and with even greater benefit if there are 
added salt, bear's grease, and crushed onion. Some 
thoroughly boil ten green lizards at a time in ten 
sextarii of old oil, being content with one application 
a month. Yipers' skins reduced to ashes very quickly 
restore hair lost through mange, as does also an 
application of fresh hens' dung. A raven's egg, 
beaten up in a copper vessel and applied to the head 
after shaving it, imparts a black colour to the hair, 
but until it dries oil must be kept in the mouth lest 
the teeth too turn black at the same time ; the 
application too must be made in the shade, and not 

253 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

110 abluendum. alii sanguine et eerebro eius utuntur 
cum vino nigro, alii excocunt ipsum et nocte concubia 
in plumbeum vas condunt. aliqui alopecias can- 
tharide trita inlinunt cum pice liquida, nitro prae- 
parata cute — caustica vis earum, cavendumque ne 
exulcerent alte — postea ad ulcera ita facta capita 
murium et fel murium et fimum cum helleboro et 
pipere inlini iubent. 

1 1 1 XXXV. Lendes tolluntur adipe canino vel anguibus 
in cibo sumptis anguillarum modo aut eorum ver- 
natione quam exuunt pota, porrigines felle ovillo cum 
creta Cimolia inlito capite donec inarescat. 

112 XXXVL Capitis doloribus remedio sunt cocle- 
arum quae nudae inveniuntur nondum peractae, 
ablato capite, et his duritia lapidea exempta — est 
autem ea calculi latitudine — quae l adalligantur et 
minutae fronti inlinuntur tritae, item oesypum, ossa 
e capite vulturis adalligata aut cerebrum cum oleo et 

113 cedria, peruncto capite et intus naribus inlitis, cor- 
nicis cerebrum coctum in cibo sumptum vel noctuae, 
gallinaceus si inclusus abstineatur die ac nocte, pari 
inedia eius qui 2 doleat, evulsis collo plumis circum- 
ligatisque vel cristis, mustelae cinis inlitus, surculus 
ex nido milvi pulvino subiectus, murina pellis cremata 
ex aceto inlito cinere, limacis inter duas orbitas in- 
ventae ossiculum per aurum argentum ebur traiectum 

1 quae codd. : eaque Mayhoff. 

2 qui fere omnes codd. : cuius E, Mayhoff. 



a Perhaps a reference to slugs. 

6 Or, " of the size of a bit of gravel." Perhaps, " as big 
as a calculus." 

254 



BOOK XXIX. xxxiv. iio-xxxvi. 113 

washed off before three days have passed. Some 
use a raven's blood and brains added to dark wine ; 
others thoroughly boil the raven itself and store it 
away at bed time in a vessel of lead. Some apply to 
patches of mange Spanish fly pounded with liquid 
pitch, first preparing the skin with soda — the applica- 
tion is caustic, and care must be taken not to cause 
deep sores — and prescribe that afterwards to the sores 
so formed be applied the heads, gall, and dung of 
mice with hellebore and pepper. 

XXXV. Xits are removed by dog fat, snakes taken Curesfor 
in food like eels, or by the cast slough of snakes taken nUs ' 

in drink ; dandruff by sheeps' gall with Cimolian 
chalk rubbed on the head until it dries off. 

XXXVI. Headaches have a remedy in the heads Forhead- 
of snails, cut off from those that are found without ac 
shells. being not yet complete, a and the hard stony 
substance taken from them— it is of the width of a 
pebble b — which are used as an amulet, while the 
small snails are crushed, and rubbed 011 the forehead ; 
there is also wool grease ; the bones from the head 

of a vulture attached as an amulet, or its brain with 
oil and cedar resin, the head being rubbed all over 
and the inner part of the nostrils smeared with the 
ointment ; the brain of a crow or owl boiled and 
taken in food ; a cock penned up without food for a 
day and a night, the sufferer fasting with him at the 
same time, feathers plucked from the neck, or the 
comb, being tied round the head ; the application of 
a weasel reduced to ash ; a twig from a kite's nest 
placed under the pillow ; a mouse's skin burnt and 
the ash applied in vinegar ; the little bone of a slug 
found between two wheel ruts, passed through gold, 
silver and ivory, and attached in dog skin as an 

255 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in pellicula canina adalligatum, quod remedium pluri- 

1 14 bus semper prodest. fraeto eapiti aranei tela ex oleo 
et aceto inposita non nisi vulnere sanato abscedit. 
haec et vulneribus tonstrinarum sanguinem sistit, a 
eerebro vero profluentem anseris sanguis aut anatis 
infusus, adeps earundem alitum cum rosaceo. cocleae 
matutino x pascentis harundine caput praecisum, 
maxime luna plena lineo panno adalligant capitis 
doloribus liceo, aut cera alba 2 fronti inlinunt et pilos 
caninos panno adalligant. 

115 XXXVII. Cerebrum cornicis in cibo sumptum 
palpebras gignere dicitur, oesypum cum murra calido 
penicillo inlitum. idem praestare muscarum fimique 
murini cinerem aequis portionibus ut efficiatur dimi- 
dium pondus denarii promittitur, additis duabus sextis 
denarii e stibi, ut omnia oesypo inlinantur, item 
murini catuli triti in vino vetere ad crassitudinem 

116 acopi. pilos in his incommodos evulsos renasci non 
patitur fel irenacei, ovorum stelionis liquor, salaman- 
drae cinis, lacertae viridis fel in vino albo sole coactum 
ad crassitudinem mellis iri aereo vase, hirundinis 
pullorum cinis cum lacte tithymalli, spuma coclearum. 

117 XXXVIII. Glaucomata dicunt Magi cerebro catuli 
septem dierum emendari specillo demisso in dex- 

1 cocleae matutino Harduinus : coctae (cocta) matutina 
codd. 

2 Post alba add. addita Mayhoff : nolit Brakman. 
256 



BOOK XXIX. xxxvi. 113 -xxxvni. 117 

amulet, a remedy that always does good to most. 
Applied in oil and vinegar to a fractured skull, 
cobweb does not come away until the wound is 
healed. Cobweb also stops bleeding from a razor 
cut, but haemorrhage from the brain is stayed by 
pouring into the wound the blood of goose or duck, 
or the grease of these birds with rose oil. The head 
of a snail cut offwith a reed as he feeds in the morning, 
by preference when the moon is full, is attached in a 
linen cloth by a thread to the head of a sufferer from 
headaches, or else made into an ointment for the 
forehead with white wax, and an amulet attached of 
dog's hair in a cloth. 

XXX VII. A crow's brain taken in food is said to Eydashes. 
make eyelashes grow, and also wool grease and 
myrrh applied with a warmed probe. We are 
assured that the same result is obtained by taking the 

ash of flies and of mouse dung in equal quantities, so 
that the weight of the whole amounts to half a 
denarius, then adding two-sixths of a denarius of 
antimony and applying all with wool grease ; or one 
may use baby mice beaten up in old wine to the con- 
sistency of an anodyne salve. When inconvenient 
hairs in the eyelashes have been plucked out they are 
prevented from growing again by the gall of a hedge- 
hog, the fluid part of a spotted lizard's eggs, the ash 
of a salamander, the gall of a green lizard in white 
wine condensed by sunshine to the consistency of 
honey in a copper vessel, the ash of a swallow's young 
added to the milky j uice of tithymallus and the slime 
of snails. 

XXXVIII. Opaqueness of the eye-lens is cured, say curesjor 
the Magi, by the brain of a seven-day-old puppy, the ^ 60 
probe being inserted into the right side of the eye to 

257 

VOL. VIII. K 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

teram partem, si dexter oculus curetur, in sinistram, 
si sinister, aut felle recenti axionis. noctuarum est id 
genus, quibus pluma aurium modo micat. suffu- 
sionem oculorum canino felle malebat quam hyaenae 
curari Apollonius Pitanaeus cum melle,item albugines 

118 oculorum. murium capitum caudaeque cinere ex 
melle inunctis claritatem visus restitui dicunt, multo- 
que magis gliris aut muris silvestris cinere aut 
aquilae cerebro vel felle cum Attico melle. cinis 
et adips * soricis cum stibi tritus lacrimosis oculis 
plurimum confert — stibi quid sit dicemus in metallis 
— mustelae cinis suffusionibus, item lacertae, hirun- 
dinis cerebrum. cocleae tritae fronti inlitae epi- 
phoras sedant sive per se sive cum polline sive cum 

119 ture. sic et solatis [id est sole correptis] 2 prosunt. 
vivas quoque cremare et cinere earum cum melle 
Cretico inunguere caligines utilissimum est. iumen- 
torum oculis membrana aspidis quam exuit vere, cum 
adipe eiusdem claritatem inunctis facit. viperam 
vivam in fictili novo comburere addito feniculi suco ad 
cyathum unum et turis manna 3 una, atque ita suffu- 
siones oculorum et caligines inunguere utilissimum 

120 est. medicamentum id echeon vocatur. fit et 
collyrium vipera in olla putrefacta vermiculisque 
enatis cum croco tritis. et uritur 4 in olla cum sale 

1 et adips d, vulg. Detlefsen : e capite Mayhoff : et alipe, 
alipe, et adipe ceteri codd. 

2 id est sole correptis] uncos ego addidi. 

3 manna Hermolaus Barbarus, Mayhoff : mina E, Detlefsen : 
mammam Vdf : mamma vulg. 

4 et uritur Mayhoff : excuritur codd. 

° Mayhoff would omit " or . . . honey " as a gloss. 
6 A strange phrase, and MayhofFs " ash from the head " 
may be right, but some sort of grease would be needed. 

»5« 



BOOK XXIX. xxxviii. 1 17-120 

treat the right eye and into the left side to treat the 
left eye ; or by the fresh gall of the aocio, a kind of 
owl whose feathers twitch like ears. Apollonius of 
Pitane preferred to treat cataract with honey and 
dog's gall rather than using hyaena's, as he did also 
to treat white eye ulcers. The heads and tails of mice, 
reduced to ash and made into an ointment with 
honey, restore, they say, clearness of vision ; much 
better the ash of a dormouse or wild mouse, or the 
brain of an eagle or the gall with Attic honey. a The 
ash and fat b of the shrew-mouse, beaten up with 
antimony, is very good for watery eyes — what anti- 
mony is I shall say when I speak c of metals — the ash 
of the weasel for cataract, likewise of the lizard, or 
the brain of the swallow. d Pounded snails applied to 
the forehead relieve eye fluxes, either by themselves 
or with fine flour or with frankincense ; so applied 
they are also good for sunstroke/ To burn them 
alive also, and to use as ointment the ash with Cretan 
honey is very good for dimness of vision. For the 
eyes of draught animals the slough cast in spring by 
the asp makes with asp fat an ointment that improves 
their vision. To burn a viper alive in new earthen- 
ware, with addition of fennel juice up to one cyathus, 
and of one grain of frankincense, makes an ointment 
very good for cataract and dimness of vision ; this 
prescription is called echeon. An eye salve is also 
made by letting a viper rot in a jar, and pounding with 
saffron the grubs that breed in it. A viper is also 

e XXXIII. § 101. 

d Or, " likewise the brain of lizard or swallow." 
e On the whole it seems better to omit id est sole correptis as 
a gloss. Although a colloquial word of the countryside, 
solatus would scarcely require explanation to a Roman ear. 

259 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quem lingendo elaritatem oculorum consecuntur et 
stomachi totiusque corporis tempestivitates. hic sal 
et pecori datur salubritatis causa et in antidotum 
contra serpentes additur. quidam | et adtollitur * f 

121 viperis utuntur in cibis. primum omnium occisae 
statim salem in os addi iubent donec liquescat, mox 
quattuor digitorum mensura utrimque praecisa ex- 
emptisque interaneis discoquunt in aqua, oleo, 2 sale, 
aneto, et aut statim vescuntur aut pane colligunt, ut 
saepius utantur. ius praeter supra dicta pediculos e 
toto corpore expellit pruritusque etiam summae cutis. 
effectum ostendit et per se capitis viperini cinis ; 
utilissime eo 3 oculos inunguit, itemque adeps viper- 

122 inus. de felle non audaciter suaserim quae praeci- 
piunt, quoniam, ut suo loco docuimus, non aliud est 
serpentium venenum. anguium adeps aerugini 
mixtus ruptas oculorum partes sanat, et membrana 
sive senectus vernatione eorum exuta si adfricetur, 
claritatem facit. boae quoque fel praedicatur ad 
albugines, suffusiones, caligines, adeps similiter ad 

123 claritatem. aquilae, quam diximus pullos ad con- 
tuendum solem experiri, felle mixto cum melle Attico 
inunguntur nubeculae et caligationes suffusionesque 

1 et adtollitur codd. : ex Athoitis Detlefsen (VII § 27 coll.) : 
ad oculos Mayhoff, " locus nondum sanatus." Fortasse ad 
tollendos pruritus Warmington. 

2 discoquunt in aqua, oleo] Mayhoff coni. discoquunt cum 
vino atque oleo. 

3 eo add. Mayhoff. 



a The reading of the MSS. is obviously wrong, and although 
the ad of adtollitur seems to be a preposition, the name of the 
complaint to follow it is a mysterv ; MayhofFs oculos would 
scarcely have been misunderstood and suffered corruption. 
There is a late word tolles, meaning goitre. Palaeographically 
an easy correction, it scarcely suits the sense of the passage. 

260 



BOOK XXIX. xxxviii. 120-123 

burned in a jar with salt, to lick which gives clearm -ss 
of vision, and is a tonic to the stomach and to the 
whole body. This salt is also given to sheep to keep 
them in health, and is an ingredient of an antidote to 
snake bite. Some use vipers ° . . . as food. They pre- 
scribe that, first of all, as soon as the viper has been 
killed, salt should be placed in its mouth until it melts ; 
then at both ends a length of four fingers is cut off 
and the intestines taken out ; the rest they thoroughly 
boil in water, b oil, salt and dill, and either eat at once, 
or mix in bread so that it can be used several times. 
In addition to what has been said above, the broth 
removes lice from any part of the body, as well as 
itching from the surface of the skin. Even by itself, 
the ash of a viper's head shows results ; as ointment 
for the eyes it is very efFective, and the same is true 
of viper's fat. I would not confidently recommend 
what is prescribed about a viper's gall, because, as I 
have pointed out in the appropriate place, c a serpent's 
poison is nothing but gall. The fat of snakes mixed 
with bronze rust heals ruptured parts of the eyes, and 
rubbing with their skin, or slough, cast in spring, 
gives clear vision. The gall of the boa also is recom- 
mended for white ulcers, cataract, and dimness, and 
its fat similarly for clear vision. 

The gall of the eagle, which, as I have said, J tests 
its chicks for gazing at the sun, makes, when mixed 
with Attic honey, an ointment for film on the eyes, 
dimness of vision, and cataract. There is the same 

6 Mayhoff (Appendix to vol. IV, p. 495) points out that 
water and oil will not mix, and proposes an emendation that 
would give : " boil with wine and oil etc." 

c II. § 163. 

d X. §10. 

261 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

oculorum. eadem vis est et in vulturino felle eum 
porri suco et melle exiguo, item in gallinacei felle ad 
argema et albugines ex aqua diluto, item in suffu- 
siones oculorum, maxime candidi gallinacei. fimum 
quoque gallinaceorum, dumtaxat rubrum, lusciosis 

124 inlini monstrant. laudant et gallinae fel, et prae- 
cipue adipem, contra pusulas in pupillis ; nec scilicet 
eius rei gratia saginant. adiuvat mirifice et ruptas 
oculorum tuniculas admixtis schisto et haematite 
lapidibus. fimum quoque earum, dumtaxat eandi- 
dum, in oleo vetere corneisque pyxidibus adservant 
ad pupillarum albugines, qua in mentione significan- 
dum est pavones fimum suum resorbere tradi invi- 

125 dentes hominum utilitatibus. accipiter decoctus in 
rosaceo efficacissimus ad inunctiones omnium vitiorum 
putatur, item fimi eius cinis cum Attico melle. 
laudatur et milvi iocur, fimum quoque columbarum, 
ex aceto ad aegilopia, similiter ad albugines et cica- 
trices, fel anserinum, sanguis anatum contusis oculis 
ita ut postea oesypo et melle inunguantur, fel per- 
dicum cum mellis aequo pondere, per se vero ad 
claritatem. ex Hippocratis putant auctoritate adiei 

126 quod in argentea pyxide id servari iubent. ova per- 
dicum in vase aereo decocta cum melle ulceribus 
oculorum et glaucomatis medentur. columbarum, 
palumbium, turturum, perdicum sanguis oculis 
cruore suffusis eximie prodest. in columbis mas- 
culae efficaciorem putant, vena autem sub ala 



° I place the phrase here, instead of at the end of the 
sentence, to show the similia similibus. 

b The phrases in this part of the chapter are difficult to 
join correctly. 

262 



BOOK XXIX. xxxvm. 123-126 

property also in vulture's gall with leek juice and a 
little honey, likewise in the gall of a cock, especially of 
a white cock, a diluted with water and used for white 
specks, white ulcers, and cataract. The dung of 
poultry also, provided that it is red, is prescribed as 
an ointment for night blindness. The gall of a hen 
also, and in particular the fat, is recommended for 
pustules on the pupils, but of course hens are not 
fattened specially for this purpose. It is a wonderful 
help, combined with the stones schistos and haema- 
tites, for the coats of the eye when torn. The dung 
also of hens, provided it is white, is kept in old oil and 
horn boxes for white ulcers on the pupil ; while on 
the subject I must mention the tradition that 
peacocks swallow back their own dung, begrudging 
men its benefits. A hawk boiled down in rose oil is 
thought to make a very efficacious liniment for all eye 
complaints, as is its dung reduced to ash and added 
to Attic honey. A kite's liver too is recommended, 
and also pigeons' dung, applied in vinegar for fistulas, 
similarly for white ulcers and for scars, goose's gall 
and duck's blood for bruised eyes, provided that 
afterwards they are treated with wool grease and 
honey '. partridge gall can be used with an equal 
weight of honey, but by itself for clear vision. 6 It 
is on the supposed authority of Hippocrates that the 
further instruction is given to keep this gall in a silver 
box. Partridge eggs boiled down with honey in a 
bronze vessel cure ulcers 011 the eyes and opaqueness 
of the lens. The blood of pigeons, doves, turtle 
doves, or partridges, makes an excellent application 
for blood-shot eyes. Among pigeons, male birds are 
supposed to have the more efficacious blood, and a 
vein under a wing is cut for this purpose, because its 

263 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ad hunc usum inciditur, quoniam suo calore utilior est. 
superinponi oportet splenium e melle decoctum 

127 lanamque sucidam ex oleo aut * vino. earundem 
avium sanguis nyctalopas sanat et iocur ovium, ut in 
capris diximus, efficacius fulvae. decocto quoque 
eius oculos abluere suadent et medulla dolores 
tumoresque inlinere. bubonis oculorum cinis collyrio 
mixtus claritatem oculis facere promittitur. turturis 
fimum albugines extenuat, item coclearum cinis, 
fimum cenchridis. accipitrum generis hanc Graeci 

128 faciunt. argema ex melle omnibus quae supra 
scripta sunt sanatur. mel utilissimum oculis in quo 
apes sint inmortuae. ciconiae pullum qui ederit 
negatur annis 2 continuis lippiturus, item qui draconis 
caput habeat. huius adipe et melle cum oleo vetere 
incipientes caligines discuti tradunt. hirundinum 
pullos plena luna excaecant, restitutaque eorum acie 
capita comburuntur, cinere cum melle utuntur ad 

129 claritatem et dolores ac lippitudines et ictus. lacer- 
tas quoque pluribus modis ad oculorum remedia 
adsumunt. alii viridem includunt novo fictili, et 
lapillos qui vocantur cinaedia, quae et inguinum 
tumoribus adalligari solent, novem signis signant et 
singulos detrahunt per dies. nono emittunt lacer- 

130 tam, lapillos servant ad oculorum dolores. alii terram 
substernunt lacertae viridi excaecatae et una in vitreo 
vase anulos includunt e ferro solido vel auro. cum 

1 aut E, Pl. Iun., Mayhojf : ac Detlefsen. 

2 Inter annis et continuis add. multis Mayhojf : V( = quin- 
que) Brakman. 



• See XXVIII. § 170. 

* Here Mayhoff would add " many " and Brakman M five. 
c I.e. dazzled. 



264 



BOOK XXIX. xxxviii. 126-130 

natural heat makes it more useful. Over the applica- 
tion should be placed a plaster boiled in honey and 
greasy wool boiled in oil or wine. Xight blindness is 
cured by the blood of the same birds and by the liver 
of sheep, as I said ° when speaking of goats, with 
greater benefit if the sheep are tawny. With a 
decoction also of the liver it is recommended to bathe 
the eyes and to apply the marrow to those that are 
painful or swollen. We are assured that the eyes of 
the horned owl, reduced to ash and mixed with a 
salve, improves the vision. White ulcers are made 
better by the dung of a turtle dove, by snails reduced 
to ash, and by the dung of the cenchris, a bird con- 
sidered by the Greeks to be a species of hawk. 
White specks are cured by all the above remedies 
applied with honey. The honey most beneficial for 
the eyes is that in which bees have died. He who 
has eaten the chick of a stork, it is said, will not suffer 
from ophthalmia for b years on end, likewise he who 
carries about the head of a python. Its fat with 
honey and old oil is said to disperse incipient dimness. 
The chicks of swallows are blinded c by the full moon, 
and when their sight is restored their heads are burnt 
and the ash used with honey to improve the vision 
and for pains, ophthalmia, and blows. Lizards too 
are employed in several ways for eye remedies. 
Some shut up a green lizard in new earthenware, and 
with them the pebbles called cinaedia, which are used 
as amulets for swellings on the groin, mark them with 
nine marks and take away one daily ; on the ninth 
day they set the lizard free, but keep the pebbles for 
pains in the eyes. Others put earth under a green 
lizard after blinding it, and shut it in a glass vessel 
with rings of solid iron or gold. When they can see 

265 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

recepisse visum lacertam apparuit per vitrum, 
emissa ea anulis contra lippitudinem utuntur, alii 
capitis cinere pro stibi ad scabritias. quidam viridem 
collo longo in sabulosis nascentem comburunt et 
incipientem epiphoram inungunt, item glaucomata. 

131 mustelae etiam oculis punctu erutis aiunt visum 
reverti, eademque quae in lacertis et anulis faciunt, 
serpentis oculum dextrum adalligatum contra epi- 
phoras prodesse, si serpens viva dimittatur. lacri- 
mantibus sine fine oculis cinis stelionum capitis cum 
stibi eximie medetur. aranei muscarii tela et prae- 
cipue spelunca ipsa inposita per frontem ad duo tem- 
pora in splenio aliquo, ita ut a puero inpube et 
capiatur et inponatur nec is triduo se ostendat ei cui 
medebitur, neve alter nudis pedibus terram attingat 

132 his diebus, mirabiliter epiphoris mederi dicitur, 
albugines quoque tollere inunctione araneus candidus 
longissimis ac tenuissimis pedibus contritus in oleo 
vetere. is etiam cuius crassissimum textum est in 
contignationibus fere adalligatus panno epiphoras 
sanare traditur. scarabaei viridis natura contuen- 
tium visum exacuit, itaque gemmarum scalptores 
contuitu eorum adquiescunt. 

133 XXXIX. Aures purgat fel pecudis cum melle, 
canini lactis instillatio sedat dolorem, gravitatem 
adeps cum absinthio et oleo vetere, item adeps an- 
serinus. quidam adiciunt sucum cepae, alii pari 
266 



BOOK XXIX. xxxviii. 130-xxxix. 133 

through the glass that the lizard has recovered its 
sight, they let it out, and use the rings for ophthahnia : 
others use the ash of the head instead of antimony 
for scabrous eyes. Some burn the green lizard with 
a long neck that is found in sandy places, and use it as 
ointment for incipient fluxes, as well as for opaqueness 
of the lens. They also say that when a weaseTs eyes 
have been gouged out with a pointed tool, the sight 
is restored, and they use the animal as they used the 
lizards and rings, saying also that a serpent's right eye 
worn as an amulet, is good for eye fluxes, if the 
serpent is set free alive. The ash of a spotted 
lizard's head makes with antimony an excellent 
remedy for continually streaming eyes. The web of 
a fly-spider, particularly its very lair, is said to be a 
marvellous cure for fluxes if laid in a plaster across 
the forehead from temple to temple ; but it must be 
collected and applied by a boy before puberty, who 
waits three days before showing himself to the patient 
needing cure, during which days the latter must not 
touch the earth with bare feet. White ulcers also 
are said to be removed by the white spider with very 
long and very thin legs, which is pounded in old oil 
and used as ointment. The spider too, whose very 
coarse web is generally found in rafters, is said to 
cure fluxes if worn in cloth as an amulet. The green 
beetle has the property of sharpening the sight of 
those who gaze at it, and so the carvers of jewels 
gaze on one to rest their eyes. 

XXXIX. The ears are cleaned by sheep's gall with diresfor 
honey ; pain is relieved by drops of bitch's milk; 
hardness of hearing by her fat with wormwood and 
old oil, also by goose grease. Some add the juice of 
onion and a Iike measure of garlic. They also use 

267 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

modo. utuntur et per se ovis formicarum, namque et 
huic animali est medicina, constatque ursos aegros hoc 

134 cibo sanari. anserum omniumque avium adeps prae- 
paratur, 1 exemptisque omnibus venis patina nova fic- 
tili operta in sole subdita aqua ferventi liquatur, 
saccatusque lineis saccis et in fictili novo repositus loco 
frigido ; minus putrescit addito melle. murium cinis 
cum melle instillatus aut cum rosaceo decoctus aurium 
dolores sedat. si aliquod animal intraverit, praeci- 
puum remedium est murium fel aceto dilutum, si 
aqua intraverit, adeps anserinus cum cepae suco. 

135 gliris detracta pelle intestinisque exemptis disco- 
quitur melle in vase novo. medici malunt e nardo 
decoqui usque ad tertias partes atque ita adservari, 
dein, cum opus sit, strigili tepefacta infundere. 
constat deplorata aurium vitia eo remedio sanari aut 
si terreni vermes cum adipe anseris decocti infun- 
dantur, item ex arboribus rubri cum oleo triti exul- 

136 ceratis et ruptis auribus praeclare medentur. lacerti 
inveterati, 2 in os pendentium addito sale, contusas et 
ab ictu miseras aures sanant, efficacissime autem 
ferrugineas maculas habentes, lineis etiam per 
caudam distincti. 3 milipeda ab aliis centipeda aut 
multipeda dicta animal est e vermibus terrae pilosum, 

1 Post praeparatur lacunam indicat Mayhoff. 

2 lacerti inveterati codd. : lacertae inveteratae Mayhoff. 

3 distincti Caesarius : distinctae (-te) codd. 



a Some words appear to have dropped out. Perhaps 
" washed." 

4 The MSS. have distinctae (or distincte). Hence Mayhoff 
would eracnd lacerti (above) to lacertae. It is perhaps more 
likely that a scribe unconsciously slipped into the more usual 
feminine. One should note in this chapter the many references 

268 



BOOK XXIX. xxxi.x. 153-136 

without addition ants' eggs, for this creature also has 
its use in medicine, and it is well known that bears 
when sick cure themselves by eating these eggs. 
The fat of geese and of all birds is prepared ° . . . 
all the veins are taken out, and in a new earthenware 
pan with a lid it is melted in the sun with boiling hot 
water underneath, strained through linen strainers 
and set aside in new earthenware in a cool place ; if 
honey is added the fat is less likely to go rancid. 
The ash of mice, either added to honey or boiled with 
rose oil, if dropped into the ears relieves pain. If 
some creature has crept into the ear, the sovereign 
remedy is mouse gall diluted with vinegar ; if it is 
water that has got in, goose grease with the juice of 
an onion. A dormouse, skinned and the intestines 
taken out, is thoroughly boiled in honey in a new 
vessel. Physicians prefer it to be boiled down to 
one-third in nard, and so stored away, and then 
when needed poured into the ear in a warmed strigil. 
It is well ascertained that desperate ear complaints 
are cured by this remedy, or if a decoction of earth- 
worms and goose grease is injected. The red worms 
also that are taken offtrees, if pounded with oil, make 
excellent treatment for ulcerated or ruptured ears. 
Preserved lizards, with salt put into their mouths as 
they hang suspended, heal bruised ears that are 
suffering from a blow, most efficaciously those covered 
with spots of the colour of iron rust and also marked b 
by streaks along the tail. The millipede, by some 
called centipede or multipede, is one of the earth 
worms ; it is hairy, with many feet, moving sinuously 

to broken ears, owing perhaps to the head wounds common in 
war and gladiatorial fights, and to the heavy caestu-s used by 
boxers. 

269 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

multis pcdibus arcuatim repens tactuque contrahens 
se, oniscon Graeci vocant, alii iulon. 1 efficacem 
narrant ad aurium dolores in cortice Punici mali 
decoctum vel 2 porri suco. addunt et rosaceum et in 
alteram aurem infundunt, illam autem quae non 
arcuatur sepa Graeci vocant, alii scolopendram, 

137 minorem perniciosamque. cocleae quae sunt in usu 
cibi cum murra aut turis polline adpositae, item 
minutae latae fracturis aurium inlinuntur cum melle. 
senectus serpentium fervente testa usta instillatur 
rosaceo admixto, contra omnia quidem vitia efficax, 
sed contra graveolentiam praecipue, ac si purulenta 
sint, ex aceto, melius cum felle caprino vel bubulo aut 
testudinis marinae — vetustior anno eadem membrana 
non prodest, nec imbre perfusa, ut aliqui putant — 

138 aranei sanies cum rosaceo aut per se in lana vel cum 
croco, gryllus cum sua terra effossus et inlitus. 
magnam auctoritatem huic animali perhibet Nigidius, 
maiorem Magi, quoniam retro ambulet terramque 
terebret, stridat noctibus. venantur eum formica 
circumligata capillo in cavernam eius coniecta, efflato 
prius pulvere ne sese condat, ita formicae conplexu 

139 extrahitur. ventris gallinaceorum membrana quae 
abici solet inveterata et in vino trita auribus puru- 
lentis calida infunditur, item 3 gallinarum adeps et 
quaedam pinguitudo blattae, si caput avellatur. hanc 
tritam una cum rosaceo auribus mire prodesse dicunt, 

1 iulon Detlefsen ex Indice : tulion, tullon, tollen, tollon 
codd. 

2 vel Urlichs, Detlefsen : et Mayhoff : mel VdT. 

3 item ego addidi : Mayhoff est pro et. 



° The ailment is supposed to be driven out by the remedy 
inserted into the other ear. 

270 



BOOK XXIX. \xxix. 136-139 

its back as it crawls, drawing itself together when 
touched, and called by the Greeks oniscos or iulos. It 
is said to be a good cure for ear pains if boiled down in 
pomegranate rind or leek juice. They add also rose 
oil, and pour it into the ear that is not painful. a The 
kind however that does not move sinuously its back 
the Greeks call seps or scolopendra ; it is smaller and 
very venomous. The snails that are edible are applied 
with myrrh or powdered frankincense, and the small, 
broad snails are made into an ointment with honey 
for fractured ears. The slough of serpents, burnt in 
a heated pot, is mixed with rose oil and dropped into 
the ears, efficacious indeed for all affections, but 
especially for offensive smell ; if pus is present, 
vinegar is used, and it is better if there be added gall 
of goat, ox, or turtle — the slough, as some think, 
loses power if older than a year, or if soaked with rain 
— the gore of a spider on wool with rose oil, by itself, 
or with saifron ; a cricket dug out with its earth and 
applied. 6 Great efficacy is attributed to this creature 
by Nigidius, greater still by the Magi, just because 
it walks backwards, bores into the earth, and chirrups 
at night. They hunt it with an ant tied to a hair and 
put into the cricket's hole, first blowing the dust 
away lest it bury itself, and so when the ant has em- 
braced it the cricket is pulled out. The lining of 
the crop of poultry, usually thrown away, if dried and 
pounded in wine, is poured warm into suppurating 
ears, likewise hens' fat and a kind of greasy sub- 
stance coming from the black beetle if its head is 
pulled off. This, pounded with rose oil, is said to be 

6 A formless sentence. Some verbal expression, such as 
" benefits pus in the ears," must be understood with the last 
clause. 

271 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sed lanam qua incluserint post paulum extrahendam, 
celerrime enim id pingue transire in animal fierique 
vermiculum. alii binas ternasve in oleo decoctas 
efficacissime auribus mederi scribunt et tritas in 

140 linteolo inponi contusis. hoc quoque animal inter 
pudenda est, sed propter admirationem naturae 
priscorumque curae totum in hoc loco explicandum. 
plura earum genera fecerunt : molles, quas in oleo 
decoctas verrucis efficaciter inlini experti sunt. 

141 alterum genus myloecon appellavere circa molas fere 
nascens. his capite detracto adtritas lepras sanasse 
Musaeum * pycten in exemplis reliquerunt. tertium 
genus et odoris taedio invisum, exacuta clune, cum 
pisselaeo sanare ulcera alias insanabilia, strumas, 
panos diebus xxi inpositas, percussa, contusa et 
cacoethe, scabiem furunculosque detractis pedibus 

142 et pinnis. nos haec etiam audita fastidimus. at, 
Hercules, Diodorus et in morbo regio et orthopnoicis 
se dedisse tradit cum resina et melle. tantum 
potestatis habit ars ea pro medicamento dandi quid- 
quid velit. humanissimi eorum cinerem crematarum 
servandum ad hos usus in cornea pyxide censuere aut 
tritas clysteribus infundendas orthopnoicis aut 

1 Musaeum Ianus: raascum am/ rauseam corfd. 
272 



BOOK XXIX. xxxix. 139-142 

wonderfully good for the ears, but the wool on which 
it is inserted must be taken out after a short time, 
for this grease very quickly turns into something 
alive, forming a grub. Some write that a dose of 
two or three of these beetles, boiled down in oil, 
make very good treatment for the ears, and that 
when these are bruised crushed beetles are placed 
in them in a piece of linen. This insect is one of the 
things that arouse disgust, but because Nature and 
the research of the ancients are so wonderful I must 
go fully into the matter here. They have made 
several classes of them : first the soft kind which, 
boiled down in oil, they found to make a good oint- 
ment for warts. The second kind they called 
myloecos, because they are found commonly about 
mills. The instances they quoted include Musaeus 
the boxer, who cured leprous sores by this kind 
rubbed on without their heads. A third kind, 
one with a loathsome smell and a sharp-pronged 
tail-end, they say will cure, if applied with pis- 
selaeum for twenty-one days, ulcers otherwise 
incurable, scrofulous sores and superficial abscesses; 
and without legs and wings bruises, contusions, 
even malignant sores, itch scab, and boils. Even 
to hear these remedies mentioned makes me feel 
sick; but, heaven help us ! Diodorus says that he had 
given these beetles with resin and honey even in cases 
of jaundice and orthopnoea. So much power has the 
art of medicine to prescribe any medicament it 
may wish. The kindliest among physicians have 
thought that the ash of burnt black beetles should be 
kept for the purposes mentioned in a horn box, or 
that crushed they should be given in enemas to 
sufferers from orthopnoea or catarrh. It is a known 

273 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rheumaticis. infixa utique corpori inlitas extrahere 
143 constat. mel utilissimum auribus quoque est in quo 
apes inmortuae sint. parotidas comprimit colum- 
binum stercus vel per se vel cum farina hordeacea aut 
avenacea, noctuae cerebrum vel iocur cum oleo in- 
fusum auriculae a parotide, 1 multipeda cum resinae 
parte tertia inlita, grylli sive inliti sive adalligati. ad 
reliqua morborum genera medicinam ex isdem 
animalibus aut eiusdem generis sequenti dicemus 
volumine. 

1 a parotide in uncis Mayhoff. 



274 



BOOK XXIX. xxxix. 142-143 

fact at any rate that an application brings away 
things embedded in the flesh. The most suitable 
honey for the ears also is that in which bees have 
died. Parotid swellings are reduced by pigeon's 
dung either by itself or with barley meal or oatmeal, 
by the brain or liver of an owl, poured with oil into the 
ear on the side of the swelling, by a multipede with a 
third part of resin used as ointment, and by crickets, 
used as ointment or as amulets. Medicine for the 
remaining kinds of disease from the same animals or 
from animals of the same kind, I shall speak of in 
the next Book. 



275 



BOOK XXX 



LIBER XXX 

1 I. Magicas vanitates saepius quidem antecedente 
operis parte, ubicumque causae locusque poscebant, 
coarguimus detegemusque etiamnum. in paucis 
tamen digna res est de qua plura dicantur, vel eo ipso 
quod fraudulentissima artium plurimum in toto 
terrarum orbe plurimisque saeculis valuit. auctori- 
tatem ei maximam fuisse nemo miretur, quando- 
quidem sola artium tres alias imperiosissimas humanae 

2 mentis complexa in unam se redegit. natam primum 
e medicina nemo dubitabit ac specie salutari in- 
repsisse velut altiorem sanctioremque medicinam, ita 
blandissimis desideratissimisque promissis addidisse 
vires religionis, ad quas maxime etiamnunc caligat 
humanum genus, atque, ut hoc quoque successerit, 1 
miscuisse artes mathematicas, nullo non avido futura 
de sese sciendi atque ea e caelo verissime peti cre- 
dente. ita possessis hominum sensibus triplici vin- 
culo in tantum fastigii adolevit ut hodieque etiam in 
magna parte gentium praevaleat et in oriente regum 
regibus imperet. 

3 II. Sine dubio illic orta in Perside a Zoroastre, ut 
inter auctores convenit. sed unus hic fuerit an 

1 successerit C. F. W. Muller: suggesserit aut suggerit 
codd. 



° Or, " Few theraes deserve more to receive fuller treat- 
ment." 

278 



BOOK XXX 

I. In the previous part of my work I have often Origin of 
indeed refuted the fraudulent lies of the Magi, when- ^™ 910 - 
ever the subject and the occasion required it, and I 

shall continue to expose them. In a few respects, 
however, the theme deserves ° to be enlarged upon, 
were it only because the most fraudulent of arts has 
held complete sway throughout the world for many 
ages. Xobodv should be surprised at the greatness 
ofits influence, since alone of the arts it has embraced 
three others that hold supreme dominion over the 
human mind, and made them subject to itself alone. 
Xobody will doubt that it first arose from medicine, 
and that professing to promote health it insidiously 
advanced under the disguise of a higher and holier 
system ; that to the most seductive and welcome 
promises it added the powers of religion, about which 
even today the human race is quite in the dark ; 
that again meeting with success it made a further 
addition of astrology, because there is nobody who 
is not eager to learn his destiny, or who does not 
believe that the truest account of it is that gained by 
watching the skies. Accordingly, holding men's 
emotions in a three-fold bond, magic rose to such a 
height that even today it has sway over a great part 
of mankind, and in the East commands the Kings of 
Kings. 

II. Without doubt magic arose in Persia with 
Zoroaster. On this our authorities are agreed, but 

279 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

postea et alius non satis eonstat. Eudoxus, qui inter 
sapientiae sectas elarissimam utilissimamque eam 
intellegi voluit, Zoroastrem hunc sex milibus annorum 
ante Platonis mortem fuisse prodidit, sic et Aristoteles. 

4 Hermippus qui de tota ea arte diligentissime scripsit 
et viciens centum milia versuum a Zoroastre condita 
indicibus quoque voluminum eius positis explanavit, 
praeceptorem a quo institutum diceret tradidit 
Agonacen, ipsum vero quinque milibus annorum ante 
Troianum bellum fuisse. mirum hoc in primis, 
durasse memoriam artemque tam longo aevo com- 
mentariis intercidentibus, 1 praeterea nec claris nec 

5 continuis successionibus custoditam. quotus enim 
quisque 2 auditu saltem cognitos habet, qui soli nomi- 
nantur, Apusorum et Zaratum Medos, Babyloniosque 
Marmarum et Arabantiphocum, Assyrium Tarmoen- 
dam, quorum nulla exstant monumenta ? maxime 
tamen mirum est in bello Troiano tantum de arte ea 
silentium fuisse Homero tantumque operis ex eadem 
in Ulixis erroribus, adeo ut totum 3 opus non aliunde 

6 constet, siquidem Protea et Sirenum cantus apud eum 
non aliter intellegi volunt, Circe 4 utique et inferum 
evocatione hoc solum agi. nec postea quisquam dixit 
quonam modo venisset Telmesum religiosissimam 5 

1 intercidentibus VGd Sillig. : non intercedentibus R ? 
Detlefsen : non ante coramentariis ponit Mayhoff. 

2 Ante auditu in codd. communi aut commi, om. Er: 
hominum Mayhoff. 

3 Ante totum in codd. multis de : om. Detlefsen : vel May- 
hoff. 

4 Ante Circe coni. in Mayhofj. 

5 Post religiosissimam coni. in Mayhoff. 

a An index might be a mere title or a brief list of contents 
(or both). 

280 



BOOK XXX. ii. 3-6 

whether he vvas the only one of that name, or 
whether there was also another afterwards, is not clear. 
Eudoxus, who wished magic to be acknowledged as 
the noblest and most useful of the schools of philo- 
sophy, declared that this Zoroaster lived six thousand 
years before Plato's death, and Aristotle agrees 
with him. Hermippus, a most studious writer about 
every aspect of magic, and an exponent of two million 
verses composed by Zoroaster, added summaries a 
too to his rolls, and gave Agonaces as the teacher by 
whom he b said that he had been instructed, assigning 
to the man himself a date five thousand years before 
the Trojan War. What especially is surprising is the 
survival, through so long a period, of the craft and its 
tradition ; treatises are wanting, and besides there is 
no line of distinguished or continuous successors to 
keep alive their memory. For how few know any- 
thing, even by hearsay, of those who alone have left 
their names but without other memorial — Apusorus 
and Zaratus of Media, Marmarus and Arabanti- 
phocus of Babylon, or Tarmoendas of Assyria ? The 
most surprising thing, however, is the complete 
silence of Homer about magic in his poem on the 
Trojan War, and yet so much of his work in the 
wanderings of Ulysses is so occupied with it that it 
alone forms the backbone of the whole work, if 
indeed they put a magical interpretation upon the 
Proteus episode in Homer and the songs of the 
Sirens, and especially upon the episode of Circe and 
of the calling up of the dead from Hades, of whicli 
magic is the sole theme. And in later times 
nobody has explained how ever it reached Telmesus, 

6 The omission of the pronouns makes the subject of diceret 
uncertain — Zoroaster or Hermippus. 

281 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

urbem, quando transisset ad Thessalas matres, 
quarum cognomen diu optinuit in nostro orbe, aliena 
genti Troianis utique temporibus Chironis medicinis 

7 contentae et solo Marte fulminante. 1 miror equidem 
Achillis populis famam eius in tantum adhaesisse, ut 
Menander quoque litterarum subtilitati sine aemulo 
genitus Thessalam cognominaret fabulam 2 com- 
plexam ambages feminarum detrahentium lunam. 
Orphea putarem e propinquo eam 3 primum pertulisse 
ad vicina eiusque 4 superstitionem a medicina 5 pro- 
vectam, 6 si non expers sedes eius tota Thrace magices 

8 fuisset. primus, quod exstet, ut equidem invenio, 
commentatus est de ea Osthanes Xerxen regem 
Persarum bello quod is Graeciae intulit comitatus, 
ac velut semina artis portentosae sparsit obiter in- 
fecto quacumque commeaverant mundo. diligen- 
tiores paulo ante hunc ponunt Zoroastrem alium 
Proconnensium. quod certum est, hic maxime 
Osthanes ad rabiem, non aviditatem modo scientiae 
eius Graecorum populos egit, quamquam anim- 
adverto summam litterarum claritatem gloriamque 
ex ea scientia antiquitus et paene semper petitam. 



1 fulminante multi codd., Detlefsen : fulminanti Mayhoff: 
fulminati V^GRM. 

2 fabulam Detlefsen : famulam Mayhoff. Neuter editor 
alias indicat lectiones. 

3 propinquo eam Gronovius, Ianus : propinquo artem 
Mayhoff : propinquo R(?) E vulg. Detlefsen : propinquorum 
VGd: propinquum coni. Warmington. 

4 eiusque P. Green : uaque codd. 

5 a medicina Gronovius, Sillig : ac medicinae (et super- 
stitionis) Mayhoff : ac medicinae (superstitiones E, super- 
stitionem R) ER. 

6 pro vectam coni. Mayhoff: provectum aut profectum codd. 

282 



BOOK XXX. ii. 6-8 

a city given up to superstition, or when it passed over 
to the Thessalian matrons, whose surname a was long 
proverbial in our part of the world, although magic 
was a craft repugnant to the Thessalian people, who 
were content, at any rate in the Trojan period, with 
the medicines of Chiron, and with the War God as 
the only wielder of the thunderbolt. b I am indeed 
surprised that the people over whom Achilles once 
ruled had a reputation for magic so lasting that 
actually Menander, a man with an unrivalled gift for 
sound literary taste, gave the name " Thessala " to 
his comedy, which deals fully with the tricks of the 
women for calling down the moon. I would believe 
that Orpheus was the first to carry the craft to his 
near neighbours. and that his superstition grew from 
medicine, if the whole of Thrace, the home of 
Orpheus, had not been untainted by magic. The 
first man, so far as I can discover, to write a still- 
extant treatise on magic was Osthanes, who ac- 
companied the Persian King Xerxes in his invasion 
of Greece, and sowed what I may call the seeds of this 
monstrous craft, infecting the whole world by the 
way at every stage of their travels. A little before 
Osthanes, the more careful inquirers place another 
Zoroaster, a native of Proconnesus. One thing 
is certain; it was this Osthanes who chiefly roused 
among the Greek peoples not so much an eager 
appetite for his science as a sheer mania. And 
yet I notice that of old, in fact almost always, 
the highest literary distinction and renown have 
been sought from that science. Certainly Pytha- 

a I.e. " Thessalian." The word suggested witchcraft. 
6 With the reading fulminantl : " whose only thunder was 
that of their War God." 

283 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

9 certe Pythagoras, Kmpedocles, Democritus, Plato ad 
hanc discendam navigavere exiliis verius quam pere- 
grinationibus susceptis, hanc reversi praedicavere, 
hanc in arcanis habuere. Democritus Apollo- 
bechem Coptitem et Dardanum e Phoenice in- 
lustravit, voluminibus Dardani in sepulchrum eius 
petitis, suis vero ex disciplina eorum editis, quae 
recepta ab ullis hominum atque transisse per 
memoriam aeque ac nihil in vita mirandum est. in 
tantum fides istis fasque omne deest, adeo ut qui 

10 cetera in viro probant haec opera eius esse infitientur. 1 
sed frustra, hunc enim maxime adfixisse animis eam 
dulcedinem constat. plenumque miraculi et hoc, 
pariter utrasque artes effloruisse, medicinam dico 
magicenque, eadem aetate illam Hippocrate, hanc 
Democrito inlustrantibus, circa Peloponnensiacum 
Graeciae bellum quod gestum est a trecentesimo 

11 urbis nostrae anno. est et alia magices factio a 
Mose et Janne et Lotape 2 ac Iudaeis pendens, sed 
multis milibus annorum post Zoroastrem. tanto 
recentior est Cypria. non levem et Alexandri 
Magni temporibus auctoritatem addidit professioni 
secundus Osthanes comitatu eius exornatus, plane- 
que, quod nemo dubitet, orbem terrarum pera- 
gravit. 

12 III. Extant certe et apud Italas gentes vestigia 
eius in XII tabulis nostris aliisque argumentis quae 

1 infitient ur Mayhoff : inficientur codd. 

2 Lotape codd. : Iotape Gelenius. 



a See Torrey, The Magic of Lotapes (Journal of Biblical 
Literature, 1949, 325-327). Pliny should have written 
Iotape = lurra ttt} = Yahweh. Jannes was not a Hebrew 



284 



BOOK XXX. ii. 9-m. 12 

goras, Empedocles, Demoeritus and Plato went 
overseas to learn it, going into exile rather than on 
a journey, taught it openly on their return, and con- 
sidered it one of their most treasured secrets. 
Democritus expounded Apollobex the Copt and 
Dardanus the Phoenician, entering the latter's tomb 
to obtain his works and basing his own on their 
doctrines. That these were accepted by any human 
beings and transmitted by memory is the most extra- 
ordinary phenomenon in history ; so utterly are they 
lacking in credibility and decency that those who 
like the other works of Democritus deny that the 
magical books are his. But it is all to no purpose, 
for it is certain that Democritus especially instilled 
into men's minds the sweets of magic. Another 
extraordinary thing is that both these arts, medicine 
I mean and magic, flourished together, Democritus 
expounding magic in the same age as Hippocrates 
expounded medicine, about the time of the Pelopon- 
nesian War, which was waged in Greece from the 
three-hundredth year of our city. There is yet 
another branch of magic, derived from Moses, 
Jannes, Lotapes, a and the Jews, but living many 
thousand years after Zoroaster. So much more 
recent is the branch in Cyprus. In the time too of 
Alexander the Great, no slight addition was made to 
the influence of the profession by a second Osthanes, 
who, honoured by his attendance on Alexander, 
travelled certainly without the slightest doubt all 
over the world. 

III. Among Italian tribes also there still certainly 
exist traces of magic in the Twelve Tables, as is 

but an Egyptian magician, who competed with Moses. See 
Epistle to Timothy, II. 3, 8. 

285 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

priore volumine exposui. DCLYII demum anno 
urbis Cn. Cornelio Lentulo P. Licinio Crasso cos. 
senatusconsultum factum est ne homo immolaretur, 
palamque in tempus illut sacra prodigiosa celebrata. 

13 IV. Gallias utique possedit, et quidem ad nostram 
memoriam. namque Tiberii Caesaris principatus 
sustulit Druidas eorum et hoc genus vatum medi- 
corumque. sed x quid ego haec commemorem in arte 
oceanum quoque transgressa et ad naturae inane per- 
vecta ? Britannia hodieque eam adtonita celebrat 
tantis caerimoniis ut dedisse Persis videri possit. 
adeo ista toto mundo consensere quamquam discordi 
et sibi ignoto. nec satis aestimari potest quantum 
Romanis debeatur, qui sustulere monstra, in quibus 
hominem occidere religiosissimum erat, mandi vero 
etiam saluberrimum. 

14 V. Ut narravit Osthanes, species eius plures sunt. 
namque et aqua et sphaeris et aere et stellis et 
lucernis ac pelvibus securibusque et multis aliis 
modis divina promittit, praeterea umbrarum in- 
ferorumque colloquia. quae omnia aetate nostra 
princeps Nero vana falsaque comperit. quippe non 
citharae tragicique cantus libido illi maior fuit, 
fortuna rerum humanarum summa gestiente 2 in 
profundis animi vitiis, primumque imperare dis con- 

1 sed Gelenius , Mayhoff : ipse codd. 

2 gestiente codd. : gestienti coni. Mayhoff. 

a XXVIII. § 17. 

b 97 B.C, 

c Or: " agreement in that subjeet of magic." 

286 



BOOK XXX. iii. 12-V. 14 

proved by my own and the other evidence set forth 
in an earlier Book.° It was not until the 657th year 
of the City b that in the consulship of Gnaeus Cor- 
nelius Lentulus and Publius Licinius Crassus there 
was passed a resolution of the Senate forbidding 
human sacrifice ; so that down to that date it is 
manifest that such abominable rites were practised. 

IV. Magic certainly found a home in the two Gallic 
provinces, and that down to living memory. For the 
principate of Tiberius Caesar did away with their 
Druids and this tribe of seers and medicine men. 
But why should I speak of these things when the 
craft has even crossed the Ocean and reached the 
empty voids of Xature ? Even today Britain 
practises magic in awe, with such grand ritual that 
it might seem that she gave it to the Persians. Sc 
universal is the cult of magic c throughout the world. 
although its nations disagree or are unknown to each 
other. It is beyond calculation how great is the debt 
owed to the Romans, "\vho swept away the mon- 
strous rites, in which to kill a man was the highest 
religious duty and for him to be eaten a passport to 
health. 

V. As Osthanes said, there are several forms of 
magic ; he professes to divine from water, globes, air, 
stars, lamps, basins and axes, and by many other 
methods, and besides to converse with ghosts and 
those in the underworld. All of these in our genera- 
tion the Emperor Xero discovered to be lies and 
frauds. In fact his passion for the lyre and tragic 
song was no greater than his passion for magic ; his 
elevation to the greatest height of human fortune 
aroused desire in the vicious depths of his mind ; 
his greatest wish was to issue commands to the gods, 

287 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cupivit, nec quicquam generosius voluit. nemo um- 

15 quam ulli artium validius favit. ad hoc non opes 
defuere, non vires, non discentis ingenium, quae non 
alia patiente mundo ! inmensum, indubitatum ex- 
emplum est falsae artis quam dereliquit Nero, uti- 
namque inferos potius et quoscumque de suspitioni- 
bus suis deos consuluisset quam lupanaribus atque 
prostitutis mandasset inquisitiones eas ! nulla pro- 
fecto sacra, barbari licet ferique ritus, non mitiora 
quam cogitationes eius fuissent. saevius sic 1 nos 
replevit umbris. 

16 VI. Sunt quaedam Magis perfugia, veluti lenti- 
ginem habentibus non obsequi numina aut cerni. 
num obstitit 2 forte hoc in illo ? nihil membris defuit. 
nam dies eligere certos liberum erat, pecudes vero 
quibus non nisi ater colos esset facile. nam homines 
immolare etiam gratissimum. Magus ad eum Tiri- 
dates venerat Armeniacum de se triumphum adferens 

17 et ideo provinciis gravis. navigare noluerat, quoniam 
expuere in maria aliisque mortalium necessitatibus 
violare naturam eam fas non putant. Magos secum 
adduxerat, magicis etiam cenis eum initiaverat, non 
tamen, cum regnum ei daret, hanc ab eo artem acci- 
pere valuit. 3 proinde ita persuasum sit, intestabilem, 
inritam, inanem esse, habentem tamen quasdam 
veritatis umbras, sed in his veneficas artes pollere, 

18 non magicas. quaerat aliquis, quae sint mentiti 

1 hic vel is sic coni. Warmington. 

2 num obstitit ego coni. post Pintianum j an obstitit May- 
hoff : non (pro num) dTE : obstet aliquot codd., Detlefsen. 

■ valuit d(?) vulg., Detlefsen, Mayhoff : voluit paene omnes 
codd. et Max/hoff in Appendice. 
288 



BOOK XXX. v. 14-vi. 18 

and he could rise to no nobler ambition. Xo other 
of the arts ever had a more enthusiastic patron. 
Every means were his to gratify his desire — wealth, 
strength, aptitude for learning — and what else did 
the world not allow ! That the craft is a fraud there 
could be no greater or more indisputable proof than 
that Xero abandoned it ; but would that he had 
consulted about his suspicions the powers of Hell 
and any other gods whatsoever, instead of entrusting 
these researches to pimps and harlots. Of a surety 
no ceremony, outlandish and savage though the 
rites may be, would not have been gentler than Xeros 
thoughts; more cruelly behaving than any did Xero 
thus fill our Rome with ghosts. 

VI, The Magi have certain means of evasion ; for 
example that the gods neither obey those with 
freckles nor are seen by them. Was this perhaps 
their objection to Xero ? But his body was without 
blemish ; he was free to choose the fixed days, could 
easily obtain perfectly black sheep, and as for human 
sacrifice, he took the greatest delight in it. Tiridates 
the Magus had come to him bringing a retinue for the 
Armenian triumph over himself, thereby laying a 
heavy burden on the provinces. He had refused to 
travel by sea, for the Magi hold it sin to spit into the 
sea or wrong that element by other necessary functions 
of mortal creatures. He had brought Magi with him, 
had initiated Xero into their banquets ; yet the man 
giving him a kingdom was unable to acquire from 
him the magic art. Therefore let us be convinced 
by this that magic is detestable, vain, and idle ; and 
though it has what I might call shadows of truth, 
their power comes from the art of the poisoner, not 
of the Magi. One might well ask what were the 

289 

VOL. VIII. I> 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

veteres Magi, cum adulescentibus nobis visus Apion 
grammaticae artis prodiderit cynocephalian herbam, 
quae in Aegvpto vocaretur osiritis, divinam et contra 
omnia veneficia, sed si tota erueretur, statim eum qui 
eruisset mori, seque evocasse umbras ad percunct- 
andum Homerum quanam patria quibusque parenti- 
bus genitus esset, non tamen ausus profiteri quid sibi 
respondisse diceret. 

19 VII. Peculiare vanitatis sit argumentum quod 
animalium cunctorum talpas maxime mirantur tot 
modis a rerum natura damnatas, caecitate perpetua, 
tenebris etiamnum aliis x defossas sepultisque similes. 
nullis aeque credunt extis, nullum religionum capa- 
cius iudicant animal, ut si quis cor eius recens pal- 
pitansque devoret, 2 divinationis et rerum efficien- 

20 darum eventus promittant. dente talpae vivae 
exempto sanari dentium dolores adalligato adfirmant. 
cetera ex eo animali placita eorum suis reddemus 
locis. nec quicquam probabilius invenietur quam 
muris aranei morsibus adversari eas, quoniam et terra 
orbitis, ut diximus, depressa adversatur. 

21 VIII. Cetero dentium doloribus, ut idem narrant, 
medetur canum qui rabie perierunt capitum cinis 
crematorum sine carnibus instillatus ex oleo cyprio 
per aurem cuius e parte doleant, caninus dens sinister 
maximus circumscarifato qui doleat aut draconis os 

1 aliis aut alis codd., Mayhoff : altis Detlefsen. 

2 devoret V^GRdTf : devoraret V^E 1 : devorarit E 2 vulg., 
Detlefsen. 

a See XXIX. § 89. 

290 



BOOK XXX. vi. i8-viii. 21 

lies of the old Magi, when as a youth I saw ApioD the 
grammarian, who told me that the herb cynocephalia, 
called iii Egypt osiritis, was an instrument of divina- 
tion and a protection from all kinds of sorcery, but if 
it were uprooted altogether the digger would die at 
once, and that he had called up ghosts to inquire 
from Homer his native country and the name of his 
parents, but did not dare to repeat the ansAvers 
which he said were given. 

VII. It should be unique evidence of fraud that rhemoie. 
they look upon the mole of all living creatures with 

the greatest awe, although it is cursed by Nature 
with so many defects, being permanently blind, 
sunk in other darkness also, and resembling the 
buried dead. In no entrails is placed such faith ; to 
no creature do they attribute more supernatural 
properties ; so that if anyone eats its heart, fresh 
and still beating, they promise powers of divination 
and of foretelling the issue of matters in hand. They 
declare that a tooth, extracted from a living mole and 
attached as an amulet, cures toothache. The rest 
of their beliefs about this animal I will relate in the 
appropriate places. But of all they say nothing will 
be found more likely than that the mole is an antidote 
for the bite of the shrewmouse, seeing that an anti- 
dote for it, as I have said, a is even earth that has 
been depressed by cart wheels. 

VIII. Toothache is also cured, the Magi tell us, Remediesfo 
by the ash of the burnt heads without any flesh of the teeth - 
dogs that have died of madness, which must be 
dropped in cyprus oil through the ear on the side 
where the pain is ; also by the left eye-tooth of a 

dog, the aching tooth being scraped round with it ; 
by one of the vertebrae of the draco or of the 

291 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

e spina, item enhydridis, est autem serpens masculus 
et albus. huius maximo dente circumscarifant, aut 
in superiorum dolore duos superiores adalligant, e 

22 diverso inferiores. huius adipe perunguuntur qui 
crocodilum captant. dentes scarifant et ossibus 
lacertae ex fronte luna plena exemptis ita ne terram 
adtingant. colluunt dentibus caninis decoctis in vino 
ad dimidias partes. cinis eorum pueros tarde 
dentientes adiuvat cum melle. flt eodem modo et 
dentifricium. cavis dentibus cinis e murino fimo 

23 inditur, vel iocur lacertarum aridum. anguinum cor 
si mordeatur adalligeturve efficax habetur. sunt 
inter eos qui murem bis in mense iubeant mandi 
doloresque ita caveri. vermes terreni decocti in oleo 
infusique auriculae cuius a parte doleat praestant 
levamentum. eorundem cinis exesis dentibus coni- 
ectus * ex facili 2 cadere eos cogit, integros dolentes 
inlitus iuvat. comburi autem oportet in testo. pro- 
sunt et cum mori radice in aceto scillite decocti ita ut 

24 colluantur dentes. is quoque vermiculus qui in 
herba Veneris labro appellata invenitur cavis dentium 
inditus mire prodest. nam urucae brassicae eius 
contactu cadunt, et a malva cimices infunduntur 
auribus cum rosaceo. harenulae quae inveniuntur 
in cornibus coclearum cavis dentium inditae statim 

1 coniectus r Pl. Iun., Mayhoff : coiectus E : collectus d, 
Detlefsen : collectis aliquot codd. : colutis Ianus. 

2 ex facili aliquot codd., Detlefsen, Mayhoff : ex facile VGR. 
Marcellus (XII 31) " insertus et cera opertus facile cadere eos 
cogit." Fortasse coniectus et cera contectus facile. Warming- 
ton coniectus facile excidere coni. 

a The true text is very hard to discover. The general 
sense is plain, but the parallel passage in Marcellus XII. 31 
seems to suggest that a phrase like " covered with wax " has 

292 



BOOK XXX. viii. 21-24 

enhydris, the serpent being a white male. With 
this eye-tooth they scrape all round the painful one, 
or they make an amulet of two upper teeth, when 
the pain is in the upper jaw, using lower teeth for 
the lower jaw. With its fat they rub hunters of the 
crocodile. They also scrape teeth with bones ex- 
tracted from the forehead of a lizard at a full moon, 
without their touching the earth. They rinse the 
mouth with a decoction of dogs' teeth in wine, boiled 
down to one-half. The ash of these teeth with 
honey helps children who are slow in teething. A 
dentifrice also is made with the same ingredients. 
Hollow teeth are stuffed with the ash of mouse dung 
or with dried lizards' liver. A snake's heart, eaten 
or worn as an amulet, is considered efficacious. 
There are among them some who recommend a mouse 
to be chewed up twice a month to prevent aches. 
Earthworms, boiled down in oil and poured into the 
ear on the side where there is pain, afford relief. 
These also, reduced to ash and plugged into decayed 
teeth, force them to fall out easily, and applied to 
sound teeth relieve any pain in them. They should 
be burnt, however, in an earthen pot. They also 
benefit if boiled down in squill vinegar with the root 
of a mulberry tree, so as to make a wash for the 
teeth. The maggot also, which is found on the plant 
called Venus' Bath, plugged into hollow teeth, is 
wonderfully good. But they fall out at the touch 
of the cabbage caterpillar, and the bugs from the 
mallow are poured into the ears with rose oil. The 
little grains of sand, that are found in the horns of 
snails, if put into hollow teeth, free them at once 

been lost. My own guess presupposes a loss of cera contectus 
after coniectus. Warmington's coniecture is attractive. 

293 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

liberant dolore. coclearum inanium cinis cum murra 
gingivis prodest, serpentis cum sale in olla exustae 
cinis cum rosaceo in contrariam aurem infusus, 
anguinae vernationis membrana cum oleo taedaeque 

25 resina calefacta et auri alterutri infusa — adiciunt 
aliqui tus et rosaceum — eadem cavis indita ut sine 
molestia cadant praestat. vanum arbitror esse circa 
canis ortum angues candidos membranam eam 
exuere, quoniam ante ortum J in ltalia visum est, 
multoque minus credibile in tepidis regionibus tam 
sero exui. hanc autem vel inveteratam cum cera 
celerrime evellere tradunt, et dens anguium adalli- 

26 gatus dolores mitigat. sunt qui et araneum animal 
ipsum sinistra manu captum tritumque in rosaceo et 
in aurem infusum cuius a parte doleat prodesse 
arbitrentur. ossiculi gallinarum in pariete servati 
fistula salva ; 2 tacto dente vel gingiva scarifata 
proiectoque ossiculo statim dolorem abire tradunt, 
item fimo corvi lana adalligato vel passerum cum 
oleo calefacto et proximae auriculae infuso. pruri- 
tum quidem intolerabilem facit et ideo utilius est 
passeris pullorum sarmentis crematorum cinerem ex 
aceto infricare. 

27 IX. Oris saporem commendari adfirmant, murino 
cinere cum melle si fricentur dentes. admiscent 
quidam marathi radices. pinna vulturis si scalpantur 

1 ante ortum Mayhoff : neutrum codd., Detlefsen. 

2 in pariete servati iistula salva] Nescioquo loco latet error 
nondum sanatus. Vide notam. 



a Both the structure and the sense are difficult. Mayhoff 
conjectures panno or puxide for parietc, but the last occurs in 
similar cures in §51 and elscwhcrc. I translate as though 

294 



BOOK XXX. vin. 24 ix. 27 

from pain. Empty snail shells, reduced to ash and 
myrrh added, are good for the gums, as is the ash of a 
serpent burnt with salt in an earthen pot, poured 
with rose oil into the opposite ear, or the slough of a 
snake with oil and pitch-pine resin warmed and poured 
into either ear — some add frankincense and rose oil — 
and if put into hollow teeth it also makes them fall out 
without trouble. I think it an idle tale that white 
snakes cast their slough about the rising of the Dog- 
star, since the casting has been seen in Italy before 
the rising, and in warm regions it is much less 
probable for sloughing to be so late. But they say 
that this slough, even when dry, combined with wax 
forces out teeth very quickly. A snake's tooth also, 
worn as an amulet, relieves toothache. There are 
some who think that a spider also is beneficial, the 
animal itself, caught with the left hand, beaten up in 
rose oil, and poured into the ear on the side of the 
pain. The little bones of hens have been kept 
hanging on the wall of a room with the gullet intact ; a 
if a tooth is touched, or the gum scraped, and the 
bone thrown away, they assure us that the pain at 
once disappears, as it does if a raven's dung, wrapped 
in wool, is worn as an amulet, or if sparrows' dung is 
warmed with oil and poured into the ear nearer the 
pain. This however causes unbearable itching, and 
so it is better to rub the part with vinegar and the ash 
of a sparrow's nestlings burnt on twigs. 

IX. They assert that the taste in the mouth is 
made agreeable if the teeth are rubbed with the 
ash of burnt mice mixed with honey ; some add 
fennel root. If the teeth are picked with a vulture's 

servati were a finite verb, and a new sentence began at tacto. 
This gives the general sense. 

295 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dentes, acidum halitvmi faciunt. hoc idem hystricis 
spina fecisse ad firmitatem pertinet. linguae ulcera 
et labrorum hirundines in mulso decoctae sanant, 
adeps anseris aut gallinae rimas, oesypum cum galla, 
araneorum telae candidae et quae in trahibus x 
parvae texuntur. si ferventia os intus exusserint, 
lacte canino statim sanabuntur. 

28 X. Maculas in facie oesypum cum melle Corsico 
quod asperrimum habetur extenuat, item scobem 
cutis in facie cum rosaceo inpositum vellere — quidam 
et butyrum addunt — si vero vitiligines sint, fel 
caninum prius acu conpunctas, ad liventia et sug- 
gillata pulmones arietum pecudumque in tenues 

29 consecti membranas calidi inpositi, vel columbinum 
fimum. cutem in facie custodit adeps anseris vel 
gallinae. lichenas et murino fimo ex aceto inlinunt 
et cinere irenacei ex oleo. in hac curatione prius 
nitro ex aceto faciem foveri praecipiunt. tollit ex 
facie vitia et coclearum quae latae et minutae passim 
inveniuntur cum melle cinis. omnium quidem 
coclearum cinis spissat, calfacit, smectica vi, et ideo 
causticis miscetur, psorisque et lepris et lentigini in- 
linitur. invenio et formicas Herculaneas appellari 
quibus tritis adiecto sale exiguo talia vitia sanentur. 

30 buprestis animal est rarum in Italia, simillimum 
scarabaeo longipedi. fallit inter herbas bovem 
maxime, unde et nomen invenit, devoratumque tacto 

1 in trabibus Hermolaus Barbarus, Mayhoff : intra bulbus 
codd. 



a Spissare, a favourite word of Pliny, is often of uncertain 
meaning and difficult to translate. Here perhaps there is 
reference to the drying up of morbid humours. 

296 



BOOK XXX. ix. 27-x. 30 

feather, they make the breath sour. To pick them 
with a porcupine's quill conduces to their firmness. 
Sores on the tongue or lips are healed by a decoction 
of swallows in honey wine ; chaps on them by goose 
grease or hen's grease, by oesypum with gall nut, by 
white webs of spiders, or by the small webs spun on 
rafters. If the mouth has been scalded by over-hot 
things, bitch's milk will give an immediate cure. 

X. Spots on the face are removed by oesypum FacwX 
with Corsican honey, which is considered the most remedies - 
acrid; scurf on the skin of the face by the same 
with rose oil on a piece of fleece ; some add also 
butter. If however there is psoriasis, dog's gall is 
applied to the spots, which are first pricked with a 
needle ; to livid spots and bruises rams' or sheep's 
lungs are applied hot and cut into thin slices, or else 
pigeon's dung. The skin of the face is preserved by 
goose grease or hen's. To lichen is also applied 
mouse dung in vinegar, or ash of the hedgehog in 
oil ; for this treatment they prescribe that the face 
should first be fomented with soda and vinegar. 
Facial troubles are also removed by the ash with 
honey of the broad but small snails that are found 
everywhere. The ash indeed of all snails, such is its 
detergent property, thickens a and warms ; for that 
reason it is an ingredient of caustic preparations and 
used as a liniment for itch, leprous sores, and freckles. 
I find also that there are ants called Herculanean, 
w r hich beaten up and with the addition of a little salt 
cure facial troubles. The buprestis is a creature 
rarely found in Italy, and very similar to a long- 
legged beetle. Oxen at pasture are very apt not to 
see it — hence too its name — and should it be 
swallowed it causes such inflammation on reaching 

297 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

felle ita inflammat ut rumpat. haec cum hircino sebo 
inlita lichenas ex facie tollit septica vi, ut supra 
dictum est. vulturinus sanguis cum chamaeleontos 
albae, quam herbam esse diximus, radice et cedria 
tritus contectusque brassica lepras sanat, item pedes 
locustarum cum sebo hircino triti, varos adeps gallin- 
aceus cum cepa subactus. utilissimum et in facie 
mel in quo apes sint inmortuae, praecipue tamen 
faciem purgat atque erugat cygni adeps. stigmata 
delentur columbino fimo ex aceto. 

31 XI. Gravedinem invenio finiri, si quis nares 
mulinas osculetur. uva x et faucium dolor mitigatur 
fimo agnorum priusquam herbam gustaverint in 
umbra arefacto, uva suco cocleae acu transfossae 
inlita, ut coclea ipsa in fumo suspendatur, hirundinum 
cinere cum melle. sic et tonsillis succurritur. ton- 
sillas et fauces lactis ovilli gargarizatio adiuvat, 

32 multipeda trita, fimum columbinum cum passo gar- 
garizatum, etiam cum fico arida ac nitro inpositum 
extra. asperitatem faucium et destillationes leniunt 
cocleae — coqui debent inlotae, demptoque tantum 
terreno conteri et in passo dari potu. sunt qui 
Astypalaeicas efficissimas putent 2 — et cinis earum, 
gryllus infricatus aut si quis manibus quibus eum 
contriverit tonsillas attingat. 

33 XII. Anginis felle anserino cum elaterio et melle 
citissime succurritur, cerebro noctuae, cinere hirun- 

1 An uvae? sic coni. Mayhoff. 

2 putent — et cinis earum, gryllus (cinis menarum Detlef- 
sen) Urlichs, Detlefsen : putent et minimas earum — , gryllus 
Mayhoff : varia codd. 

a XXIX. § 59. 6 XXII. § 45. 

c These are often mentioned. Slaves after manumission 
might find them an embarrassment. 

298 



BOOK XXX. x. 30-xn. 33 

the gall that it bursts the animal. This insect applied 
with he-goat suet removes lichen from the face by 
its corrosive property, as I have already ° said. 
Vulture's blood, beaten up with cedar resin and the 
root of the white chamaeleon, a plant I have already b 
mentioned, and covered witb a cabbage leaf, heals 
leprous sores, as do the legs of locusts beaten up with 
he-goat suet. Pimples are cured by poultry fat 
kneaded with onion. Very useful too for the face is 
honey in which bees have died, but the best thing 
for clearing the complexion and removing wrinkles is 
swan's fat. Branded marks c are removed by 
pigeon's dung in vinegar. 

XI. I find that a heavy cold clears up if the Cokis,etc. 
sufferer kisses a mule's muzzle. Pain in the uvula 

and in the throat is relieved by the dung, dried in 
shade, of lambs that have not yet eaten grass, uvula 
pain by applying the juice of a snail transfixed by a 
needle, so that the snail itself may be hung up in the 
smoke, and by the ash of swallows with honey. This 
also gives relief to affections of the tonsils. Gargling 
with ewe's milk is a help to tonsils and throat, as is a 
multipede beaten up, gargling with pigeon's dung 
and raisin wine, and also an external application of it 
with dried fig and soda. Sore throat and a running 
cold are relieved by snails — they should be boiled 
unwashed, and with only the earth taken off crushed 
and given to drink in raisin wine ; some hold that the 
snails of Astypalaea are the most efficacious — by their 
ash, and also by rubbing with a cricket or if anybody 
touches the tonsils with hands that have crushed a 
cricket. 

XII. In quinsy very speedy relief is afforded by Quinsy. 
goose gall with elaterium and honey, by the brain of 

299 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dinis ex aqua calida poto. huius medicinae auctor 
est Ovidius poeta. sed effieaciores ad omnia quae ex 
hirundinibus monstrantur pulli silvestrium — figura 
nidorum eas deprehendit— multo tamen efficacissimi 
ripariarum pulli. ita vocant in riparum cavis nidi- 
ficantes. multi cuiuscumque hirundinis pullum eden- 
dum censent, ut toto anno non metuatur id malum. 

34 strangulatos cum sanguine 2 comburunt in vase et 
cinerem cum pane aut potu dant. quidam et 
mustelae cinerem 2 pari modo admiscent. sic ad 
strumae remedia dant et comitialibus cotidie potui. 
in sale quoque servatae hirundines ad anginam 
drachma bibuntur, cui malo et nidus earum mederi 

35 dicitur potus. milipedam inlini anginis efficacissi- 
mum putant. alii XX tritas in aquae mulsae hemina 
dari per harundinem, quoniam dentibus tactis nihil 
prosint. tradunt et murem cum verbenaca excoctum, 
si bibatur is liquor, remedio esse, et corrigiam cani- 
nam ter collo circumdatam, fimum columbinum vino 
et oleo permixtum. cervicis nervis et opisthotono ex 
milvi nido surculus viticis adalligatus auxiliari dicitur, 

36 strumis exulceratis mustelae sanguis, ipsa decocta in 
vino ; non tamen sectis admovetur. aiunt et in cibo 
sumptam idem efficere, vel cinerem eius sarmentis 

1 cum sanguinc] Mayhoff anginae coni. 

2 cinerem Mayhoff : cineres dEr Detlefsen. 

a Perhaps " dog's lead." 
300 



BOOK XXX. xii. 33-36 

an owl, and bv the ash of a swallow taken in hot 
water. The last prescription is on the authority of 
the poet Ovid. But more efficacious for all ailments 
for which swallows are prescribed are the young of 
wild swallows, which are recognised by the shape of 
their nests, but by far the most efficacious are the 
voung of sand martins, for so are called the swallows 
that build their nests in holes on river banks. Many 
hold that a voung swallow of any kind should be 
eaten to banish the fear of quinsy for a whole year. 
They wring their necks, burn them blood and all in a 
vessel, and give the ash with bread or in drink. 
Some add also to the prescription an equal quantity 
of weasel ash. These preparations are given daily 
in drink for scrofula and for epilepsy. Preserved in 
salt also swallows are taken for quinsy in drachma 
doses, for which complaint their nest also, taken in 
drink, is said to be a cure. It is thought that an 
application of millepedes is very efficacious for 
quinsy ; some think that twenty, beaten up in a 
hemina of hydromel, should be given through a reed. 
because if the teeth are touched the draught is 
thought to be useless. They also tell us that a 
mouse, well boiled witfa vervain, makes a broth that is 
a remedy, as does a thong of dog leather a wrapped 
three times round the neck, or dove's dung thoroughly 
mixed with wine and oil. For neck-sinews and 
opisthotonus a twig of agnus castus taken from the 
nest of a kite and worn as an amulet, is said to help, 
for ulcerated scrofula a weasel's blood, or the weasel Scrofuia. 
itself boiled down in wine, but it is not applied to 
sores that have been lanced. They say also that 
eating weasel in food has the same effect, or the 
animal burned over twigs and the ash mixed with 

301 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

conbustae ; miscetur axungia. lacertus viridis adal- 
ligatur, post dies XXX alium adalligatum oportet. 

37 quidam cor eius in argenteo vasculo servant ad 
femineas J strumas et mares. 2 cocleae cum testa sua 
tusae inlinuntur, maxime quae frutectis adhaerent, 
item cinis aspidum cum sebo taurino inponitur, 
anguinus adeps mixtus oleo, item anguium cinis ex 
oleo inlitus vel cum cera. edisse quoque eos medios 
abscissis utrimque extremis partibus adversus 
strumas prodest, vel cinerem bibisse in novo fictili 
ita crematorum, efficacius multo inter duas orbitas 

38 occisorum. et gryllum inlinere cum sua terra effos- 
sum suadent, item fimum columbarum per sese vel 
cum farina hordeacia aut avenacia ex aceto, talpae 
cinerem ex melle inlinere. alii iocur eiusdem contri- 
tum inter manus inlinunt et triduo non abluunt. 
dextrum quoque pedem eius remedio esse strumis 
adfirmant. alii praecidunt caput et cum terra a 
talpis excitata tusum digerunt in pastillos pyxide 
stagnea et utuntur ad omnia quae intumescant et 
quae apostemata vocant quaeque in cervice sint ; 

39 vesci suilla tunc vetant. tauri vocantur scarabaei 
terrestres ricino similes — nomen cornicula dedere, 
alii pediculos terrae vocant ; ab his quoque terram 
egestam inlinunt strumis et similibus vitiis et poda- 
gris, triduo non abluunt. prodest haec medicina in 
annum, omniaque his adscribunt quae nos in gryllis 

1 femineas Mayhoff : feminas codd. : feminarum Detlefsen. 

2 mares coni. Mayhoff e Marcello: veteres codd.: strumas, 
et veteres cochleae etc. coni. Warmington. 

302 



BOOK XXX. xii. 36-39 

axle grease. A green lizard is attached as an 
amulet; after thirty days the weasel should be 
changed for another. Some keep a weasel's heart 
in a small silver vessel for scrofula in woman or man. 
An ointment is made of snails pounded with their 
shells, especially those that cling to shrubs, or there 
is applied the ash of asps with bull suet, snake's fat 
mixed with oil, or an ointment of snake's ash in oil 
or with wax. To eat also the middle part of a snake 
after cutting off either end is good for scrofula, as is 
to take in drink the ash of this middle burnt in new 
earthenware, with much greater benefit if the snakes 
have been killed between two wheel-ruts. They 
recommend also the application of a cricket dug up 
with its earth, also the application of dove's dung by 
itself, or with barley meal or oatmeal in vinegar, or 
of mole ash with honey. Some make an ointment of 
a mole's liver crushed between the hands, and do not 
wash it off for three days. They also assure us that 
the right foot of the animal is a remedy for scrofula. 
Others cut off the head, pound it with the earth of a 
mole-hill, work into lozenges in a pewter box, and 
use for all swellings, for what are called apostemata, 
and for affections of the neck ; during the treatment 
the eating of pork is forbidden. There are earth 
beetles like ticks that are called " bulls " — a name 
given because of their little horns — and by some 
" earth lice." These too throw up earth that is 
applied to scrofulous and similar sores, and also to 
gouty parts, not being washed off for three days. 
The efficacy of this treatment lasts for a year. To 
these creatures are assigned all the properties I have 
mentioned when speaking of crickets. Some also use 
for this purpose the earth thrown up by ants, others 

3°3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rettulimus. quidam et a formieis terra egesta sic 
utuntur, alii vermes terrenos totidem quot sint 
strumae adalligant pariterque cum his arescunt. 

40 alii viperam circa canis ortum circumcidunt ut dixi- 
mus, dein mediam comburunt, cinerem eum dant 
bibendum ter septenis diebus quantum prenditur 
ternis digitis, sic strumis medentur, aliqui vero 
circumligantes lino quo praeligata infra caput vipera 
pependerit donec exanimaretur. et milipedis utun- 
tur addita resinae terebinthinae parte quarta, quo 
medicamento omnia apostemata curari iubent. 

41 XIII. Lrneri doloribus mustelae cinis cum cera 
medetur. ne sint alae hirsutae formicarum ova 
pueris infricata praestant, item mangonibus, ut 
lanugo tardior sit pubescentium, sanguis e testiculis 
agnorum, cum castrantur, qui evulsis pilis inlitis et 
contra virus proficit. 

42 XIV. Praecordia vocamus uno nomine exta in 
homine, quorum in dolore cuiuscumque partis si 
catulus lactens admoveatur adprimaturque his parti- 
bus, transire in eum dicitur morbus, idque exinterato 
perfusoque vino deprehendi vitiato viscere illo quod 

43 doluerit homini, sed obrui tales religio est. hi quo- 
que quos Melitaeos vocamus stomachi dolorem sedant 
adplicati saepius. transire morbos aegritudine 
eorum intellegitur, plerumque et morte. pul- 
monum 1 vitiis medentur et 2 mures, maxime Africani, 

1 Post pulmonum addunt quoque multi codd., Mayhoff: om. 
d E r, Detlefsen. 

2 et E r, Detlefsen : id VGRd : iidem Ianus : item Mayhoff. 



° XXIX. §§70and 121. 

b From the Dalmatian island of Melita. 

3°4 



re.y. 



BOOK XXX. xii. 39-xiv. 43 

tie as an amulet as many earth worms as there are 
sores, which dry up as the worms shrivel. Others 
about the time of the Dog-star cut off, as I have said,° 
the ends of a viper, then burn the middle part and 
give a three-finger pinch of the ash to be taken in 
drink for thrice seven days, treating scrofulous sores 
in this way ; some however do so by tying round them 
a linen thread by which a viper has been suspended 
by the neck until it died. They also use millepedes 
with a fourth part of terebinth resin, a medicament 
which they recommend for the treatment of all 
apostemata. 

XIII. Good treatment for pains in the shoulder is Shouiders 
weasel ash and wax. Rubbing with ants' eggs pre- a £^ ilato , 
vents hair in the arm-pits of children, and dealers, to 
delav growth of downy hair on adolescents, use blood 

that comes from the testicles of lambs when they are 
castrated. Applications of this blood after the hair 
has been pulled out also do away with the rank 
smell of the arm-pits. 

XIV. Praecordia is a comprehensive name we use Cures/orthe 
for the vital organs of the human body. When any rgans. 
one of them is in pain, the application of a sucking 
puppy pressed close to that part is said to transfer 

the malady to it ; they add that, if the organs of the 
puppy are taken out and washed with wine, by the 
diseased aspect of those organs can be detected the 
source of the patient's pain ; but the burial of an 
animal so used is an essential part of the ritual. 
Those puppies too that we call Melitaean b relieve 
stomach-ache if laid frequently across the abdomen. 
That the disease is transferred to the puppy is seen 
by its sickening, usually even by its death. Lung 
complaints are also cured by mice, especially African; 

3°5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

detracta cute in oleo et sale decocti atque in cibo 
sumpti. eadem res et purulentis vel cruentis ex- 

44 creationibus medetur, XV. praecipue vero coclearum 
cibus stomacho. in aqua eas subfervefieri intacto 
corpore earum oportet, mox in pruna torreri nihilo 
addito, atque ita e vino garoque sumi, praecipue 
Africanas. nuper hoc conpertum plurimis prodesse. 
id quoque observant ut numero inpari sumantur. 
viris tamen earum gravitatem halitus facit. prosunt 
et sanguinem excreantibus dempta testa tritae in 

45 aqua x potu. laudatissimae autem sunt Africanae — 
ex his Iolitanae — Astypalaeicae, 2 Siculae modicae, 
quoniam magnitudo duras facit et sine suco, Baliari- 
cae, quas cavaticas vocant, quoniam in speluncis 
nascuntur. laudatae ex 3 insulis et 4 Caprearum, 
nullae 5 autem cibis gratae neque veteres neque 
recentes. fluviatiles et albae virus habent, nec 
silvestres stomacho utiles, alvum solvunt, item omnes 
minutae. contra marinae stomacho utiliores, effica- 
cissimae tamen in dolore stomachi e laudatis tra- 

46 duntur quaecumque vivae cum aceto devoratae. 
praeterea sunt quae d/ceparot vocantur, latae, multi- 
fariam nascentes, de quarum usu dicemus suis locis. 

1 aqua Mayhoff : aquae codd. Cf. XXVIII. § 202. 

2 Ante Siculae addunt et ne VGR : om. dEr, Detlefsen: 
Aetnaeae Gronovius, Sillig : item Mayhoff. 

3 et ex codd. : ex Detlefsen, Mayhoff. 

4 Ante Caprearum addunt codd. et aut ex : et Detlefsen, 
Mayhoff. 

5 nullae d r, Mayhoff: nullis VGR 1 Detlefsen. 



a A sauce made of small fish. 

6 The phrase in aquae potu occurs in XXVIII. § 202, but 
not depending on tritae. 

.^o6 



BOOK XXX. xiv. 43-xv. 46 

they are skinned, boiled down in oil and salt, and 
taken in food. The same preparation is also a cure 
for expectoration of pus or blood. XV. The best 
medicine, however, for the stomach is a diet of snails. s nai i 3 , 
They should be gently boiled in water, African snails 
by preference, with their bodies whole, then with 
nothing added grilled over a coal fire, and so taken in 
wine and garum. a Recently this treatment has been 
found to benefit very many sufferers, who are also 
careful that the number of the snails taken is odd. 
Their rank juice, however, makes the breath foul. 
Pounded without their shells and taken b in water 
they are also good for the spitting of blood. The 
most prized snails are the African, especially those of 
Iol, those of Astypalaea, moderate sized Sicilian (for 
the large are hard, and without juice), and those of 
the Baliaric islands, called cavaticae because they 
breed in caverns. Those from the islands and of 
Capreae are prized, but none whether preserved or 
fresh make pleasant eating. c River snails and white 
snails have a rank taste ; wood snails are not good 
for the stomach, relaxing the bowels, and so with all 
small snails. On the other hand sea snails d are 
rather beneficial for the stomach, but of the prized 
snails the most efficacious for stomach-ache are said 
to be all that are swallowed alive in vinegar. More- 
over, there are some snails called aKeparoi, e which 
are broad, and breed in many places ; of these I shall 

c The text in this part of the chapter is uncertain as well 
as the punctuation. Dioscorides (II. 9) does not help, except 
once in showing that a full stop should be placed with Mayhoff 
after recentes. 

d Periwinkles. 

e I.e. " homless." 

3° 7 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

gallinaceorum ventris membrana inveterata et in- 
spersa potioni destillationes pectoris, et umidam 
tussim vel recens tosta lenit. cocleae crudae tritae 
cum aquae tepidae cyathis tribus si sorbeantur, 
tussim sedant. destillationes sedat et canina cutis 
cuilibet digito circumdata. iure perdicum stomachus 
recreatur. 

47 XVI. Iocinerum doloribus medetur mustela sil- 
vestris in cibo sumpta vel iocinera eius, item viverra 
porcelli modo inassata, suspiriosis multipedae ita ut 
ter septenae in Attico melle diluantur et per harun- 
dinem bibantur, omne enim vas nigrescit contactu. 
quidam torrent sextarium in patina donec candidae 
fiant, tunc melle miscent [alii centipedam vocant] x 

48 et ex aqua calida dari iubent. cocleae in cibo 2 iis 
quos linquit animus aut quorum alienatur mens aut 
quibus vertigines fiunt, ex passi cyathis tribus singu- 
lae contritae cum sua testa et calefactae in potu 
datae diebus plurimum novem, aliqui singulas primo 
die dedere, sequenti binas, tertio ternas, quarto duas, 

49 quinto unam. sic et suspiria emendant et vomicas. 
esse animal locustae simile sine pennis, quod trixallis 
Graece vocetur, Latinum nomen non habeat, aliqui 
arbitrantur, nec pauci auctores, hoc esse quod grylli 
vocentur. ex his XX torreri iubent ac bibi e mulso 
contra orthopnoeas. sanguinem expuentibus co- 
cleae ; 3 si qui inlotis protropum infundat, vel 
marina aqua ita decoquat et in cibo sumat, aut si 



alii centipedam vocant] In uncis Mayhoff. 

iubent in cibo. cocleae Mayhoff. 

si qui Mayhoff est qui plerique codd., Detlefsen. 



a The part in brackets (clearly a gloss on multipedae) 
means : " some call it centipede." 

308 



BOOK XXX. xv. 46-xvi. 49 

speak in the appropriate places. The skin of the 
crop of poultry, sprinkled into the drink when dried, 
or roasted if fresh, relieves chest catarrhs and moist 
coughs. A cough is relieved by pounded raw snails 
swallowed in three cyathi of tepid water, running 
colds also by a piece of dog skin put round any finger. 
Partridge broth acts as a tonic on the stomach. 

XVI. Pains in the liver are treated by the wild 
weasel, or its liver, taken in food, also by a ferret 
roasted as is a sucking pig ; asthma by thrice seven 
multipedes, soaked in Attic honey and sucked 
through a reed, for every vessel they touch they turn 
black. Some roast a sextarius of them in a pan until 
they turn white, then they mix them with honey and 
recommend giving them in warm water. a Snails in 
food have been given to those subject to fainting, 
aberration of the mind, or vertigo, a dose being one 
snail in three cyathi of raisin wine, pounded with the 
shell, warmed, and taken in drink for nine days at 
most ; some have given one on the first day, two on 
the next, three on the third, two on the fourth, and one 
on the fifth. This treatment is also good for asthma 
and abscesses. Some hold that there is a creature 
like a locust, but without wings, called trixallis in 
Greek but without a name in Latin ; some, and not 
a few authorities, maintain that it is what is called in 
Latin gryllus (cricket) ; twenty of these they recom- 
mend to be roasted and taken in honey wine for 
orthopnoea. A cure for spitting of blood are snails, 
if the patient pours protropum b on them unwashed, 
or if he boils them down in sea-water, and takes them 

b Protropum was the must that came from the grape clusters 
before they were pressed. The text here seems incapable of 
restoration, but the meaning of the passage is plain. 

3°9 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

tritae cum testis suis sumantur cum protropo ; sic et 
tussi medentur. vomicas privatim sanat mel in quo 

50 apes sint demortuae. sanguinem reicientibus pulmo 
vulturinus vitigineis lignis conbustus adiecto flore 
Punici mali ex parte dimidia, item cotoneorum lilior- 
umque isdem portionibus potus mane atque vesperi 
e vino, si febres absint, si minus, ex aqua in qua 
cotonea decocta sint. 

51 XVII. Pecudis lien recens magicis praeceptis 
super dolentem lienem extenditur dicente eo qui 
medeatur lieni se remedium facere. post hoc iubent 
in pariete dormitorii eius tectorio includi et obsignari 
anulo ter novies eademque x dici. caninus si viventi 
eximatur et in cibo sumatur, liberat eo vitio. quidam 

52 recentem superinligant. alii duum dierum catuli ex 
aceto scillite dant ignoranti, vel irenacei lienem, 
item coclearum cinerem cum semine lini et urticae 
addito melle, donec persanet. liberat et lacerta 
viridis viva in olla ante cubiculum dormitorium eius 
cui medeatur suspensa, ut egrediens*revertensque 
attingat manu, cinis e capite bubonis cum unguento, 
mel in quo apes sint mortuae, araneus, et maxime 
qui lycos vocatur. 

53 XVIII. Upupae cor lateris doloribus laudatur, 
coclearum cinis in tisana decoctarum — et per se 
inlinuntur — canis rabiosi calvariae cinis potioni 
inspergitur. lumborum dolori stelio transmarinus 

1 eademque Mayhoff : carmenque Detlefsen : carmen d(?) 
rula.: earumque ( — quae E) VRGE: anulo, terque novies 
eademdici. coni. Warmington. 

310 



BOOK XXX. xvi. 49 xvm. $ 3 

in food, or if pounded with their shells they are taken 
with protropum ; these preparations also cure a 
cough. Specific for abscesses is honey in which bees 
have died. For coughing up blood a vulture's lung 
burnt over vine wood, with half as much pomegranate 
blossom and the same quantity of quince blossom and 
of lilies, taken morning and evening in wine, if there 
is no fever, otherwise in water in which quinces have 
been boiled. 

XVII. The fresh spleen of a sheep is placed, by a 
Magian prescription, over the painful spleen of a 
patient, the attendant saying that he is providing a 
remedy for the spleen. After this the Magi prescribe 
that it should be plastered into the wall of the 
patient's bedroom, sealed with a ring thrice nine 
times and the same words repeated. If a dog's 
spleen is cut out of the living animal and taken in 
food it cures splenic complaints ; some bind it when 
fresh over the affected part. Others without the 
patient's knowledge give in squill vinegar the spleen 
of a two-days-old puppy, or that of a hedgehog, also 
the ash of snails with linseed, nettle seed, and honey, 
until there is a complete cure. Another remedy is a 
live green-lizard, hung up in a pot before the door of 
the bedroom of the patient, that he may touch it 
with his hand on going out and coming in, the ash of 
a horned owl's head with an unguent, honey in which 
bees have died, or a spider, especially that called 
" wolf." 

XVIII. The heart of a hoopoe is a prized remedy Lumbago, 
for pains in the side, as is the ash of snails boiled down Su 

in barley water ; these are also used by themselves as 
a liniment. The skull of a mad dog is reduced to ash 
and sprinkled in drink. For lumbago an overseas 

3'i 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

capite ablato et intestinis decoctus in vino cum papa- 
veris nigri denarii pondere dimidio eo suco bibitur. 
lacerti * virides decisis pedibus et capite in cibo 
sumuntur, cocleae tres contritae cum testis suis 
atque in vino decoctae cum piperis granis XV. 

54 aquilae pedes evellunt in aversum a suffragine ita ut 
dexter dextrae partis doloribus adalligetur, sinister 
laevae. multipeda quoque, quam oniscon appella- 
vimus, medetur denarii pondere ex vini cyathis 
duobus pota. vermem terrenum catillo ligneo ante 
fisso et ferro vincto inpositum aqua excepta 2 per- 
fundere et defodere unde effoderis Magi iubent, mox 
aquam bibere catillo, mire id prodesse ischiadicis 
adfirmantes. 

55 XIX. Dysintericos recreant femina pecudum de- 
cocta cum lini semine ea 3 aqua pota, caseus ovillus 
vetus, sebum ovium decoctum in vino austero. hoc 
et ileo medetur et tussi veteri dysintericis stelio 
transmarinus, ablatis intestinis et capite pedibusque 
ac cute, decoctus aeque et in 4 cibo sumptus, cocleae 

1 lacerti dE Detlefsen : lacertae R vulg., Mayhoff : lacerte 
VG. 

2 impositum aqua excepta] coni. aqua perfundere et 
exceptum Mayhoff. 

3 ea Urlichs, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : om. codd. 

4 in vulg., Mayhoff : om. codd., Detlefsen. 



a See note on XXVI. § 67. 

6 It is not clear who " they " are, but most of this part of 
Pliny seems taken from the same source as that from whieh 
he took his account of the Magi. 

e See XXIX. § 136. 

d Mayhoffs reading would rnean : " soaked in water, taken 
out, and buried, ctc." The word cxceptum, written as exceptu, 



BOOK XXX. xvm. 53-xix. 55 

spotted lizard, with head and intestines removed, is 
boiled down in wine with half an ounce by weight of 
black ° poppy, and this broth is drunk. Green 
lizards, with feet and head cut off, are taken in food, 
or three snails, beaten up with their shells and boiled 
down in wdne with fifteen peppercorns. They b break 
off, in the opposite way to the joint, the feet of an 
eagle, so that the right foot is attached as an amulet 
for pains in the right side, the left foot for those in 
the left side. The multipede too, that I have called 
oniscos, c is another remedy, the dose being a denarius 
by weight taken in two cyathi of wine. The Magi 
prescribe that an earth-worm should be placed upon 
a wooden plate that has been split beforehand and 
mended with a piece of iron, soaked in water that 
has been taken d up in the dish, and buried in the 
place from which it was dug out. Then the water in 
the plate is to be drunk, which they say is a wonderful 
remedy for sciatica. 

XIX. Dysentery is relieved by a leg of mutton Dysentery. 
boiled down with linseed, the broth of which is drunk, 
by old cheese made with ewe's milk, and by mutton 
suet boiled down in a dry wine. By this are also 
benefited ileos and chronic cough, and dysentery by 
a spotted lizard from overseas, boiled down with its 
intestines, head, feet, and skin removed e — it is 
as efncacious in food also as decocted — by two snails 

might easily be taken for excepta; the transposition would 
naturally follow. 

e In § 53 is practically the same remedy, but in vino comes 
after decocttis. In such expressions in with a noun is usual, 
so that perhaps aeque is a mistake for in aqua. I have not 
adopted it because an easy reading like in aqua is unlikely 
to have been changed to aeque. The meaning " steadily ", 
which would make good sense, seems without a parallel. 

313 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOKY 

duae cum ovo, utraque cum putamine contrita atque 
in vase novo addito sale et passi cyathis duobus aut 
palmarum suco et aquae cyathis tribus subfervefacta 

56 et in potu data. 1 prosunt et combustae, ut cinis 
earum bibatur in vino addito resinae momento. 
cocleae nudae, de quibus diximus — in Africa maxime 
inveniuntur — utilissimae dysintericis, quinae com- 
bustae cum denarii dimidii pondere acaciae ; ex eo 
cinere dantur coclearia bina in vino myrtite aut 

57 quolibet austero cum pari modo caldae. quidam 
omnibus Africanis ita utuntur, alii totidem Africanas 
vel latas 2 infundunt potius et, si maior fluctio sit, 
addunt acaciam fabae magnitudine. senectus an- 
guium dysinteriae et tenesmis in stagneo vase deco- 
quitur cum rosaceo, vel si in alio, cum stagno inlinitur. 
ius ex gallinaceis isdem medetur, sed veteris galli- 

58 nacei vehementius salsum ius alvum ciet. membrana 
gallinarum tosta et data in oleo ac sale coeliacorum 
dolores mulcet — abstinere autem frugibus ante et 
gallinam et hominem oportet — firaum columbinum 
tostum potumque. caro palumbis in aceto decocta 
dysintericis et coeliacis medetur, turdus inassatus 
cum myrti bacis dysintericis, item merulae, mel in 
quo apes sint inmortuae decoctum. 

1 subfervefacta . . . data Mayhoff cum vet. Dal. : -tis . . . 
-tis codd., !>• tlefst n. 

- vel latas codd., Detlefsen : velatas (opp. nudas) Mayhoff, 
qui et latas sine vel coni. 

° SeeXXIX. §112. 
314 



BOOK XXX. xix. 55-58 

with egg, each beaten up with its shell, allowed to 
simmer in a new vessel with salt, two cyathi of raisin 
wine or date juice, and three cyathi of water ; this 
preparation is taken in drink. Snails are also 
beneficial when burnt, and their ash taken in wine 
with a small piece of resin. Snails without shells, 
about which I have spoken a — they are found chiefly 
in Africa — are very useful in dysentery ; flve are 
burnt and taken with half a denarius by weight of 
gum acacia ; of this ash two spoonfuls are given in 
myrtle wine or any dry wine with an equal quantity 
of hot water. Some, using all African snails, ad- 
minister according to this recipe ; others prefer to 
inject the same number of African snails or broad 
snails, b adding if the flux is severe gum acacia of the 
size of a bean. The cast slough of snakes is boiled 
down with rose oil for dysentery and tenesmus in a 
pewter vessel; if in any other kind of vessel, the 
application must be made with the help of pewter. 
Chicken broth is good for these two complaints, but 
broth made with an old cock, thoroughly salted, is 
purgative. A hen's crop, roasted and given in oil 
and salt, soothes the pains of coeliac troubles — but 
previously hen and patient must both abstain from 
cereals c — as does dove's dung roasted and taken in 
drink. The flesh of a wood-pigeon boiled in vinegar 
is good for dysentery and for coeliac troubles ; for 
dysentery too a thrush roasted with myrtle berries, 
so are blackbirds and honey in which bees have died. 

b MayhofTs velatas would mean : " with shells," but I can 
find no exact parallel. 

e I think that the sense is that both hen and patient must 
fast, and that frugibus is used as being peculiarly applicable 
to gallinam, which is ncarer to it than nominem. 

315 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

59 XX. Gravissimum vitium * alvi ileos 2 appellatur. 
huic resisti aiunt discerpti vespertilionis sanguine, 
ctiam inlito ventre subveniri, sistit alvum coclea sicut 
diximus in suspiriosis temperata, item cinis earum 
quae vivae crematae sint potus ex vino austero, 
gallinaceorum iocur assum aut ventriculi membrana 

60 quae abici solet inveterata admixto papaveris suco — 
alii recentem torrent ex vino bibendam — ius per- 
dicium et per se ventriculus contritus ex vino nigro, 
item palumbis ferus ex posca decoctus, lien pecudis 
tostus et in vino tritus, fimum columbinum cum 
melle inlitum, ossifragi venter arefactus et potus, iis 
qui cibos non conficiant utilissimus, vel si manu tan- 
tum teneant capientes cibum. quidam adalligant 
ex hac causa, sed continuare non debent, maciem 
enim facit. sistit et anatum mascularum sanguis. 

61 inflationes discutit coclearum cibus, tormina lien 
ovium tostus atque e vino potus, palumbus ferus ex 
posca decoctus, adips otidis ex vino, cinis ibide sine 
pennis cremata potus. quod praeterea traditur in 
torminibus mirum est, anate adposita ventri transire 

62 morbum anatemque emori. tormina et melle curan- 
tur in quo sunt apes inmortuae decocto. coli vitium 
efficacissime sanatur ave galerita assa in cibo sumpta. 
quidam in vase novo cum plumis exuri iubent con- 
terique in cinerem, bibi ex aqua coclearibus ternis 

1 vitium d E, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : vulnus vitium VGR : 
ventris vitiuni Urlichs. 

- alvi ileos Ianus, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : apu (apii VG) illi 
eos V6E : apuleius R. 

See § 48. 
3 10 



BOOK XXX. xx. 59-62 

XX. The most serious disease of the abdomen is iieos and 
ileos. It may be combated, they say, by tearing a iZ^abZmin. 
bat apart and drinking its blood ; it is also a help to 
rub the belly with it. Looseness of the bowels is 
checked by a snail prepared according to my pre- 
scription a for asthma, and also by the ash, taken in 
a dry wine, of snails that have been burnt alive. 
Other remedies are : the roasted liver of cocks or the 
skin of their crop, usually thrown away, mixed with 
poppy juice if dried, while some roast it fresh to be 
given in wine, partridge broth and its crop pounded 
by itself in dark wine, also wild wood-pigeon boiled 
down in vinegar and water, spleen of a sheep roasted 
and beaten up in wine, pigeon's dung applied with 
honey, the gizzard of an osprey dried and taken in 
drink, very beneflcial to those who cannot digest 
their food, even if they only hold it in their hand 
while eating. Some use it as an amulet for this 
purpose, but it must not be so used continuously, for 
it makes the body thin. Looseness is also checked 
by the blood of drakes. Flatulence is dispersed by 
a diet of snails, griping by the spleen of sheep, 
roasted and taken in wine, wild wood-pigeon boiled 
down in vinegar and water, the fat of a bustard in 
wine, the ash of an ibis burnt without the feathers 
and taken in drink. Another prescription for 
griping is of a marvellous character : it is said that 
if a duck is laid on the belly, the disease is transferred 
to the duck, which dies. Good for griping is also 
boiled honey in which bees have died. Colic is 
effectively cured by a crested lark, roasted and taken 
in food. Some recommend that it should be burnt 
with the feathers in a new vessel, ground to dust and 
taken in water, three spoonfuls daily for four days, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

per quadriduum, quidam cor eius adalligari femini, 
alii reeens tepensque adhuc devorari. 1 consularis 

63 Asprenatum domus est in qua alter e fratribus colo 
liberatus est ave hac in cibo sumpta et corde eius 
armilla aurea incluso, alter sacrificio quodam facto 
crudis laterculis ad formam camini atque, ut sacrum 
peractum erat, obstructo sacello. unum est ossifrago 
intestinum mirabili natura omnia devorata con- 
ficienti. huius partem extremam adalligatam pro- 
desse contra colum constat. sunt occulti inter- 

64 aneorum morbi de quibus mirum proditur. si catuli 
priusquam videant adplicentur triduo stomacho 
maxime ac pectori et ex ore aegri suctum lactis acci- 
piant, transire vim morbi, postremo exanimari dis- 
sectisque palam fieri aegri 2 causas, jniori et"j" 3 
humari debere eos obrutos terra. Magi quidem 
vespertilionis sanguine contacto ventre in totum 
annum caveri tradunt, aut in dolore 4 si quis aquam 5 
pedes eluens 6 haurire sustineat. 

65 XXI. Murino fimo contra calculos inlinere ven- 
trem prodest. irenacei carnem iucundam esse aiunt, 
si capite percusso uno ictu interficiatur priusquam in 

1 devorari d(?) Detlefsen : devoratur reliqui codd. et Mayhoff, 
qui aliis pro alii scribit. 

2 aegri om. Urlichs et Detlefsen: aegritudinis Warmington. 

3 mori et codd. : morbi et Ianus, Detlefsen : monent May- 
hoff: mox et coni. Warmington. 

4 in dolore fere omnes codd., Mayhoff : per dolorem E, 
Oelenius, Detlefsen. 

5 per ]x>st aquam codd. : del. Detlefsen : ter Mayhoff. 

c eluens Mayhoff, qui eluentia coni. : eluentem Detlefsi >t : 
fluentes avX fluentis codd.: aquam per pedes fluentem Warm- 
mgton. 

318 



BOOK XXX. xx. 62-xxi. 65 

others that a lark's heart should be tied as an amulet 
to the patient's thigh, and others that it should be 
swallowed while fresh and still wami. The Aspren- 
ates are a consular family in which one of two 
brothers was cured of colic by this bird taken in food 
and its heart worn in a golden bracelet, the other by 
performing a certain sacrifice in a shrine of unbaked 
bricks built in the shape of an oven, and when a cer- 
tain rite was over blocking it up. The osprey has 
only one gut, which through its wonderful character 
digests everything that the bird eats ; the end of it 
attached as an amulet is well known to be excellent 
for colic. There are some obscure diseases of the 
intestines, for which is prescribed a wonderful cure. 
If, before they can see, puppies are applied for three 
days especially to the stomach and chest of a 
patient, and suck milk from his mouth, the power of 
the disease is transferred to them ; finally they die 
and dissection makes clear the patient's trouble a ; 
the puppies must be buried in the earth. The 
Magi indeed tell us that if the belly is touched with 
a bat's blood there is protection from colic for a 
whole year ; should there be pain, it is sufficient if 
the patient can bring himself to drink b the water in 
which he washes his feet. 

XXI. Mouse dung rubbed on the belly is good for Biadder 
stone in the bladder. The flesh of a hedgehog is T0U 
said to be pleasant to eat if it is killed by one blow 

Causas seems to be here the equivalent of morbos. The 
emendation morbi of Jan was due to his taking causas in its 
usual sense, but see XXVIII. § 218. 

b MayhofTs ter would give : " to drink three times of the 
water, etc." The text at the end of this chapter is very 
uncertain, but the general sense is clear. I think that per 
before pedes is dittography. 

319 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

se urinam reddat. haec caro ad hunc modum occisi 
stillicidium * vesicae 2 emendat, item suffitus ex 
eodem. quod si urinam in se reddiderit, eos qui 
carnem comederint stranguriae morbum contrahere 

66 traditur. iubent et vermes terrenos bibi ex vino aut 
pji^n ad comminuendos calculos vel cocleas decoctas 
ut in suspiriosis, easdem exemptas testis tres tritasque 
in vini cyatho bibi, sequenti die duas, tertio die unam, 
ut stillicidia urinae emendent, testarum vero in- 
anium cinerem ad calculos pellendos, item hydri iocur 
bibi vel scorpionum cinerem aut in pane sumi, [vel 

67 si quis ut locusta edit,] 3 lapillos qui in gallinaceorum 
vesica aut in palumbium ventriculo inveniantur con- 
teri et potioni inspergi, item membranam e ventri- 
culo gallinacei aridam vel, si recens sit, tostam. 
fimum quoque palumbinum in faba sumi contra 
calculos et alias difficultates vesicae, similiter plum- 
arum cinerem palumbium ferorum ex aceto mulso et 
intestinorum ex his cinerem coclearibus tribus, e nido 

68 hirundinum glaebulam dilutam 4 aqua calida, ossifragi 
ventrem arefactum, turturis fimum in mulso decoctum 
vel ipsius discoctae ius. turdos quoque edisse cum 
bacis myrti prodest urinae, cicadas tostas in patellis, 
milipedam oniscon bibisse et in vesicae doloribus 
decoctum agninorum pedum. alvum ciet et gallin- 

1 stillicidium Mayhoff : stillicidia d, Detlefsen : stillicidi in 
reliqui codd. 

2 vesicae Mayhoff : vessicam multi codd. 

3 vel si quis ut locusta edit in uncis Mayhoff : pro ut habet 
cum vidg. : vel siquis VI locustas edit Detlefsen. 

4 glaebulam dilutam ex Pl. iun. et Marcello Hard. \ fimum 
dilutum Detlefsen : grillum dirutum multi codd. 

320 



BOOK XXX. xxi. 65-68 

on the head before it can void its urine on itself. The 
flesh of hedgehogs killed in this manner is a remedy 
for obstruction to the urine ; another is fumigation 
with the same animal. Should however it have 
voided its urine on itself those who have eaten the 
flesh are said to be attacked by strangury. It is 
also recommended, in order to break up stone, to 
take earthworms in wine or raisin wine, or snails 
boiled down as for asthma a ; three snails taken from 
their shells, pounded, and given in a cyathus of wine, 
on the next day two, and on the third day one, for 
removing difficulty of urination ; but the ash of the 
empty shells for expelling stone ; the liver of a water 
snake or the ash of scorpions to be taken in drink or 
in bread, 6 the grits to be found in the gizzard of 
poultry or in the crop of wood-pigeons to be crushed 
and sprinkled on drink, also the skin of the crop of 
poultry. When dried, or roasted when fresh, the 
dung too of wood-pigeons to be taken in beans for 
stone and other bladder trouble ; the ash too of wild 
wood-pigeon's feathers in oxymel, three spoonful- 
doses of their intestines reduced to ash, a bit of earth c 
from a swallow's nest diluted with warm water, the 
crop of an osprey dried, dung of a turtle-dove boiled 
down in honey wine, or the broth of the bird itself. 
To eat thrushes also with myrtle berries is good for 
the urine, cicadas roasted in a shallow pan, to take in 
drink the millepede oniscos, and for pains in the 
bladder the broth of lambs' trotters. Chicken broth 

a See § 48 of this Book. 

6 The part in brackets would mean : " or if taken with a 
locust (cum locusta) ," " or if six locusts are eaten " (Detlefsen). 

c Detlefsen'9 reading : " diluted dung " : that of the 
MSS. : " a cricket taken." 

321 

VOL. VIII. M 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aceorum discoctorum ius et acria mollit, ciet et 
hirundinum fimum adiecto melle subditum. 

69 XXII. Sedis vitiis efricacissima sunt oesypum — 
quidam adiciunt pompholvgem * et rosaceum — canini 
capitis cinis, senecta serpentis ex aceto, si rhagades 
sint, cinis fimi canini candidi cum rosaceo — aiunt in- 
ventum Aesculapii esse eodemque et verrucas 
efficacissime tolli — murini fimi einis, adeps cycni, 
adeps bovae. procidentia ibi sucus coclearum 

70 punctis evocatus inlitu repellit. adtritis medetur 
cinis muris silvatici cum melle, fel irenacei cum 
vespertilionis cerebro et canino lacte, adeps anserinus 
cum cerebro et alumine et oesypo, fimum colum- 
binum cum melle, condylomatis privatim araneus 
dempto capite pedibusque infricatus ; ne acria 
perurant, adeps anserinus cum cera Punica, cerussa, 
rosaceo, adeps cycni. hic et haemorroidas sanare 

71 dicitur. ischiadicis cocleas crudas tritas cum vino 
Aminneo et pipere potu prodesse dicunt, lacertam 
viridem in cibo ablatis pedibus, interaneis, capite, sic 
et stelionem adiectis huic papaveris nigri obolis tri- 
bus, ruptis, convulsis fel ovium cum lacte mulierum. 

72 verendoruin formicationibus verrucisque medetur 
arietini pulmonis inassati sanies, ceteris vitiis vellerum 
eius vel sordidorum cinis ex aqua, sebum ex omento 

1 pompholygem Hermolaus Barbarua : varia codd. : cf. 
§106. 



a A deposit from thc smoke of smelting furnaces. 
322 



BOOK XXX. xxi. 68-xxn. 72 

too is laxative and softens acridities, laxative too is 
the dung of swallows with honey used as a suppository. 

XXII. For complaints of the anus very efficacious Anus 
are wool grease — some add pompholyx a and rose comp 
oil — dog's head reduced to ash, a serpent's slough in 
vinegar, if there are chaps, the ash of white dog's- 
dung with rose oil — it is said to have been a discovery 
of Aesculapius, removing warts also verv efficaciously 
— ash of mouse dung, fat of a swan, fat of a boa. 
Prolapsus there is reduced by an application of snail 
juice extracted by pricks. Chafmgs are relieved by 
the ash of a field mouse with honey, the gall of a 
hedgehog with the brain of a bat and bitch's milk, by 
goose grease with goose brain, alum and wool grease, 
and by pigeon dung with honey ; specific for condyl- 
omata is a spider rubbed on the place when the head 
and feet have been removed ; to prevent the smart 
from acrid juices, apply goose grease with Punic 
wax, white lead, rose oil, and swan fat. This fat is 
said also to cure haemorrhoids. They say that 
beneficial for sciatica are raw snails, pounded with 
Aminnean b wine and pepper and taken in drink, a 
green lizard taken in food, but with feet, bowels and 
head removed, also so treated a spotted lizard with 
the addition of three oboli of black poppy c ; for 
ruptures and sprains, sheep's gall with woman's milk. 
Itching eruptions and warts on the privates are 
treated with the gravy from the roasted lung of a c f^ laints 
ram, other genital affections by the ash, applied gemtais, etc. 
with water, of raw, even unwashed, ram's wool, by 

b Mayhoff has a note (XXXIV. § 103) on this word. He 
prefers the spelling " Amminean." 

c For " black poppy " see note on XXVI. § 67 (vol. VII. 
p. 313). 

3 2 3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pecudis, praecipue a renibus, admixto pumicis cinere 
et sale, lana sucida ex aqua frigida, carnes pecudis 
combustae ex aqua. mulae ungularum cinis, dentis 
caballini contusi farina inspersa, testibus vero farina 
ex ossibus capitis sine carne tusis. si decidat testium 
alter, spumam coclearum inlitam in remedio esse tra- 

73 dunt. taetris ibi ulceribus et manantibus auxiliantur 
canini capitis recentes cineres, cocleae parvae latae 
contritae ex aceto, senectus anguium ex aceto vel 
cinis eius, mel in quo apes sint inmortuae cum resina, 
cocleae nudae, quas in Africa gigni diximus, tritae 
cum turis polline et ovorum albo. XXX die resol- 

74 vunt ; aliqui pro ture bulbum admiscent. hydro- 
celicis stelionis mire prodesse tradunt capite, pedi- 
bus, interaneis ademptis relicum corpus inassatum — 
in cibo id saepius datur — sicut ad urinae incon- 
tinentiam caninum adipem cum alumine schisto 
fabae magnitudine, cocleas Africanas cum sua carne 
et testa crematas poto cinere, anserum trium linguas 
inassatas in cibo. huius rei auctor est Anaxilaus. 

75 at panos aperit sebum pecudum cum sale tosto, muri- 
num fimum admixto turis polline et sandaraca dis- 
cutit, lacertae cinis et ipsa divisa inposita, item multi- 
peda contrita admixta resina terebinthina ex parte 
tertia — quidam et sinopidem admiscent — cocleae 
contusae per se, cinis inanium coclearum cerae 



a See ^ 56. 

6 A Pythagorean banished by Augustus for magic practices. 

3 2 4 



BOOK XXX. xxn. 72-75 

the suet from the caul of a sheep, especially that of 
the kidneys, mixed with salt and the ash of pumice, 
by greasy wool in cold water, by the burnt iiesh of 
sheep in water, by the ash of a she-mule's hoofs, bv 
the tooth of a horse, ground to powder and dusted 
on the parts, and complaints of the testicles by the 
bones of a horse's head ground to powder without the 
flesh. If either testicle hangs down, we are told 
that a remedy is found in applying the slime of snails. 
Foul and running ulcers on these parts are relieved 
by the fresh ashes of a dog's head, by the small broad 
kind of snail beaten up in vinegar, by the slough of a 
snake or its ash in vinegar, by honey in which bees 
have died mixed with resin, by the shell-less kind of 
snail, which I have said ° breeds in Africa, beaten up 
with powdered frankincense and white of eggs ; the 
application is removed 011 the thirtieth dav, and 
some add a bulb instead of frankincense. Hydrocele, 
they tell us, is wonderfully benefited by the spotted 
lizard : head, feet, and bowels are removed, and the 
rest of the body is roasted — frequent doses are given 
in food — in food too for incontinence of urine they 
prescribe dog fat with split alum in doses the size of 
a bean, African snails burnt with their flesh and shell, 
the ash being taken in drink, three roasted geese 
tongues taken in food. Sponsor for this treatment 
is Anaxilaus. 6 But superncial abscesses are opened 
by mutton suet and roasted salt ; they are dispersed 
by mouse dung mixed with powdered frankincense 
and sandarach, by ash of a lizard or the lizard itself, 
split and applied, also by multipedes pounded and 
mixed with one third part of terebinth resin — some 
add also red ochre of Sinope — by crushed snails by 
themselves, or by the ash ofempty snail-shells mixed 

3 2 5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mixtus. discussoriam vim habet fimum columbarum 
per sese vel cum farina hordeacia aut avenacia in- 
litum. cantharides mixtae calce panos scalpelli vice 
auferunt, inguinum tumorem cocleae minutae cum 
melle inlitae leniunt. 

76 XXIII. Varices ne nascantur, lacertae sanguine 
pueris crura ieiunis a ieiuno inlinuntur. podagras 
lenit eosypum cum lacte mulieris et cerussa, fimum 
pecudum quod liquidum reddunt, pulmones pecudum, 
fel arietis cum sebo, mures dissecti inpositi, sanguis 
mustelae cum plantagine inlitus et vivae combustae 
cinis ex aceto et rosaceo J — penna inlinatur vel si cera 
et rosaceum admisceatur — fel caninum ita ne manu 
attingatur, sed penna inlinatur, fimum gallinarum, 
vermium terrenorum cinis cum melle ita ut tertio 

77 die solvantur. aliqui 2 ex aqua inlinere malunt, alii 
ipsos — acetabuli 3 mensura 4 cum mellis cyathis tri- 
bus, pedibus ante rosaceo perunctis. cocleae latae 
potae tollere dicuntur pedum et articulorum dolores. 
bibuntur autem binae in vino tritae. eaedem in- 
linuntur cum helxines herbae suco. quidam ex 
aceto intrivisse contenti sunt. sale y quidam cum 
vipera crematus *j' 5 in olla nova saepius sumpto aiunt 

1 Hic add. si E r : om. ceteri codd. 

2 aliqui YGRdT : alium E r : ali eum Detlefsen. 

3 acetabuli vet. Dal. : aceto codd. 

4 mensura aut mensuram codd. : macerant Detlefsen. 

5 quidam . . . crematus codd. : quidam . . . cremata 
Urlichs, Detlefsen: qui una . . . crematus sit Mayhoff: 
cremato Warmington: ego obelos addo. 



a Or : " or it may be made Lnto ointment with wax and 
oil " ; a puzzling Bentence wiili a parenthesis of uncertain 
lengtli, Detlefsen ending it at inli/ialur. 

326 



BOOK XXX. xxii. 75-xxiiL 77 

with wax. Power to disperse is possessed by pigeon's 
dung, applied by itself or with barley meal or with 
oatmeal. Cantharides mixed with lime remove 
superfieial abscesses as well as the lancet ; swelling 
of the groin is relieved by an application of small 
snails with honey. 

XXIII. To prevent varicose veins the legs of Vancose 
ehildren are rubbed with lizard's blood, but both *%£** go ' 
patient and rubber must be fasting. Gouty pains are 
soothed by oesypum with woman's milk and white 
lead, by the dung of sheep that they pass liquid, by 
lungs of sheep, by ram's gall with ram's suet, by mice 
split and laid on the parts, by blood of a weasel applied 
with plantain and the ash of a weasel burnt alive 
with vinegar and rose oil — the remedy should be 
applied with a feather even a if wax and oil are made 
ingredients — by dog's gall, which must not be 
touched by hand but applied with a feather, by dung 
of hens, by ash of earth-worms with honey, taken ofF 
011 the third day. Some prefer to apply the worms 
in water, others prefer to rub the feet first with rose 
oil and then to apply without water an acetabulum ° 
of worms with three cyathi of honey. Snails of the 
broad kind taken in drink are said to banish pains of 
the feet and joints ; the dose is two pounded in wine. 
They are also applied with juice of the plant helxine ; 
some are content to beat them up in vinegar. Salt, 
burnt c with a viper in a new jar and taken fre- 

b With Detlefsen's reading : " they macerate the worms 
themselves in vinegar." 

c I have added daggers because, although the sense is plain, 
the actual words of Pliny are more than uncertain. The 
origin of the trouble seems to be the intrusion of quidam 
repeated from the preceding sentence. Pliny may be referring 
to salt in which a viper has been preserved ; cf. § 1 17. 

3 2 7 



PLINV: NfATURAL HISTORY 

podagra liberari, utile esse et adipe viperino pedes 

78 perungui. et de milvo adfirmant, si inveterato trito- 
que quantum tres digiti capiant bibatur ex aqua, aut 
si pedes sanguine eius perunguantur. inlinuntur et 
columbarum sanguine x cum urtica, vel pennis earum 
cum primum nascentur tritis cum urtica. quin et 
fimus earum articulorum doloribus inlinitur, item 
cinis mustelae aut coclearum, et cum amvlo vel 
tragacantha. incussos articulos aranei telae com- 
modissime curant. sunt qui cinere earum uti malint 
sicut fimi columbini cinere cum polenta et vino albo. 

79 articulis luxatis praesentaneum est sebum pecudis 
cum cinere e capillo mulierum. pernionibus quoque 
inponitur sebum pecudum cum alumine, canini 
capitis cinis aut fimi murini. quod si pura sint, 
ulcera cera addita ad cicatricem perducunt . . . 2 vel 
glirium crematorum favilla ex oleo, item muris silva- 
tici cum melle, vermium quoque terrenorum cum 
oleo vetere et cocleae quae nudae inveniuntur. 

80 ulcera omnia pedum sanat cinis earum quae vivae 
combustae sint, fimi gallinarum cinis, exulcerationes 
columbini fimi ex oleo. adtritus calciamentorum 
veteris soleae 3 cinis, agninus puimo et arietis sanant, 
dentis caballini contusi farina privatim subluviem, 
lacertae viridis sanguis subtritus et hominum et 

1 eius perunguantur . . . sanguine add. Mayhoff : milvi vel 
columbarum unguantur Urlichs, Detlefsen : lacunam indicat 
Silluj. 

2 Ego lacunam indico : soricum add. Mayhoff. 

3 soleae vulg. e Pl. iun. et Marcello : soli RdE, Detlefsen. 



u I have translated the words added by Mayhoff, because 
the}' are rather more likely than the addition of Urlichs 
adopted by Detlefsen. 

3*8 



BOOK XXX. xxm. 77-80 

quently, frees they say from gout, adding that it is 
also beneficial to rub the feet \vith viper fat. They 
assure us also that the kite is a remedy ; it is dried, 
pounded, and a three-finger pinch taken in water, 
or the feet are rubbed with its blood. To the feet is 
also applied the blood of pigeons a with nettles, or 
their feathers may be used when they are just 
sprouting, beaten up with nettles. Moreover their 
dung is applied to painful joints, also the ash of a 
weasel or of snails, and with starch or tragacanth. 
Bruised joints are treated very effectively with 
spider's web ; some prefer to use the ash of it, or 
else that of pigeon's dung with pearl barley and 
white wine. For dislocations a sovereign remedy is 
mutton suet with ash of woman's hair. For chil- 
blains too is applied mutton suet with alum, or the 
ash of a dog's head or of mouse dung. But if they 
are clean, ulcers are brought to cicatrize <(by these) b 
with the addition of wax, or by the warm ash in oil 
of burnt dormice, also by that of field mice with 
honey, and by that of earth-worms also with old oil 
and c the snails that are found without shells. All 
sores of the feet are healed by the ash of those snails 
that have been burnt alive, by the ash of hens' dung, 
and ulcerations by the ash of pigeon's dung in oil. 
Chafings caused by foot-wear are healed by the ash 
of an old shoe, by the lung of a lamb and of a ram ; 
for whitlows is specific a horse's tooth ground to 
powder ; chafings under the feet of man or beast are 
healed by applying a green lizard's biood, corns on 

6 Some plural subject is required to go with perducunt; 
perhaps haec. 

c The et would be strange unless it joins the two ingredients, 
favilla and cocleae. 

329 



PLLW: NATURAL HISTORY 

iumentorum pedes sublitus, clavos pedum urina muli 
mulaeve cum luto suo inlita, fimum ovium, iocur 
lacertae viridis vel sanguis flocco inpositus, vermes 
terreni ex oleo, stelionis caput cum viticis pari modo 
tritum ex oleo, fimum columbinum decoctum ex 

81 aceto, verrucas omnium generum urina canis recens 
cum suo luto inlita, fimi canini cinis cum cera, fimum 
ovium, sanguis recens murinus inlitus vel ipse mus 
divolsus, irenacei fel, caput lacertae vel sanguis vel 
cinis totius, membrana senectutis anguium, fimum 
gallinae cum * oleo ac nitro. cantharides cum uva 
taminia intritae exedunt, sed ita erosas aliis quae ad 
persananda ulcera demonstravimus curari oportet. 

82 XXIV. Nunc praevertemur ad ea quae totis cor- 
poribus metuenda sunt. fel canis nigri masculi 
amuletum esse dicunt Magi domus totius suffitae eo 
purificataeve contra omnia mala medicamenta, item 
sanguinem 2 canis respersis parietibus genitaleque 3 
eius sub limine ianuae defossum. 4 minus mirentur 
hoc qui sciunt foedissimum animalium in quantum 
magnificent ricinum, quoniam uni nullus sit exitus 
saginae nec finis alia quam morte, diutius in fame 
viventi. septenis ita diebus durasse tradunt, at in 

83 satietate paucioribus dehiscere ; hunc ex aure sinistra 
canis omnes dolores sedare adalligatum. indicium 

1 gallinae cum Mayhoff : gallinaceum (sine cum) Detlefsen 
et VE : gallinaceum cum R d. 

2 sanguinem V, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : sanguine plerique codd. 

3 genitaleque Sillig, Detlefsen, Mayhoff : genitalique codd. 

4 defossum Detlefsen, Mayhoff. multi codd. : defosso 
d(?)E. 



I have kept with misgiving Ihe readings of both Detlefsen 
and Mayhoff: ablatives absolute are perhaps more likely, for 

33° 



BOOK XXX. xxiii. 8o-xxiv. 83 

the feet bv applying the urine of a mule, male or 
female, with the mud made by it, by the dung of 

sheep, bv the liver or blood of a green lizard laid on 
a piece of wool, by earth-worms in oil, by the head 
of a spotted lizard with an equal quantity of agnus 
castus beaten up in oil, by pigeon's dung boiled down 
in vinegar ; all kinds of warts are cured by fresh dog's 
urine applied with its mud, by the ash of dog's dung 
with wax, by the dung of sheep, by the application 
of fresh mouse-blood, or of a mouse itself torn 
asunder, bv the gall of a hedgehog, by the head or 
blood of a lizard or the ash of the whole creature, by 
the slough of snakes, or by the dung of a hen with 
oil and soda. Cantharides beaten up with Taminian 
grapes eat away warts, but when corroded in this 
way they must be treated by the other remedies I 
have prescribed for the complete healing of ulcers. 

XXIV. Xow I will turn to those ills that threaten Diseasesof 
the whole body. The Magi say that the gall of a l ^ hole 
black male dog, if a house is fumigated or purified 
with it, acts as a talisman protecting all of it from 
sorcerers' potions ; it is the same if the inner walls 
are sprinkled with the dog's blood or his genital a 
organ is buried under the threshold of the front door. 
Those would wonder less at this who know how highly 
the Magi extol that very loathsome animal the tick, 
on the ground that it is the only creature that has 
no vent for its gorging, nor yet any end save at 
death, living longer if it starves ; they tell us that so 
it lasts for seven days, but if they eat to satiety they 
burst in a shorter time. They add that a tic-k from 
the left ear of a dog, worn as an amulet, relieves all 

que after a short e is most unusual. See Onnerfors, Pliniana 
p. 164. 

33 1 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORV 

ia augurio vitalium habent, nam si aeger ei respon- 
deat qui intulerit a pedibus stanti interrogantique 
de morbo, spem vitae certam esse, moriturum nihil 
respondere. adiciunt ut evellatur ex aure laeva 

84 canis cui non sit alius quam niger color. Nigidius 
fugere toto die canes conspectum eius qui e sue id 
animal evellerit scriptum reliquit. rursus Magi tra- 
dunt lymphatos sanguinis talpae adspersu resipiscere, 
eos vero qui a nocturnis diis Faunisque agitentur 
draconis lingua et oculis et felle intestinisque in vino 
et oleo decoctis ac sub diu nocte refrigeratis perunc- 
tionibus matutinis vespertinisque liberari. 

85 XXV. Perfrictionibus remedio esse tradit Nicander 
amphisbaenam serpentem mortuam adalligatam vel 
pellem tantum eius, quin immo arbori quae caedatur 
adalligata non algere caedentes faciliusque sic 
caedere. ita * sola serpentium frigori se committit, 
prima omnium procedens et ante cuculi cantum. 
aliud est cuculo miraculum : quo quis loco primum 
audiat alitem illam si dexter pes circumscribatur ac 
vestigium id effodiatur, non gigni pulices ubicumque 
spargatur. 

86 XXYL Paralysim caventibus pinguia glirium de- 
coctorum et soricum utilissima tradunt esse, mili- 
pedas ut in angina diximus potas ; phthisim sentien- 
tibus 2 lacertam viridem decoctam in vini sextariis 

1 ita E : itaque VRd vulg. : ista Detlefsen : ita. quae 
Mayhoff. 

2 Post sentientibus dist. plerique editores; post potas cum 
Pl. iun. et Marcello Mayhoff. 



a Theriaca 377 foll. So named because it could move back- 
wards or forwards. 
b §35. 

33 2 



BOOK XXX. xxiv. 83-xxvi. 86 

pains. They also consider the tick a prognostication 
of life or death, for if the patient at the beginning of 
his illness makes reply wheri he who has brought in 
with him a tick, standing at his feet inquires about 
the illness, there is sure hope of recovery ; should no 
reply be made the patient will die. They add that 
the tick must be taken from the left ear of a dog 
that is completelv black all over. Nigidius has left 
it in writing that dogs run away for a whole day from 
the sight of one who has caught a tick on a pig. 
Again, the Magi tell us that sprinkling with mole's 
blood restores to their senses the delirious, while 
those who are haunted by night ghosts and goblins 
are freed from their terrors if tongue, eyes, gall, and 
intestines of a python are boiled down in wine and 
oil, cooled by night in the open air, and used as 
embrocation night and morning. 

XXV. For feverish chills Xicander gives as a chuis. 
remedy a dead serpent, the amphisbaena, a worn as 

an amulet, or even its skin; nay, he says that, if it is 
fastened to a tree that is being felled, the fellers feel 
no cold and do their business more easily. So much 
does this, alone of serpents, stand up to the cold, 
being the first of all serpents to make its appearance, 
even before the cry of the cuckoo. One wonderful 
thing about the cuckoo is, that if, on the spot where 
that bird is heard for the first time, the print of the 
right foot is marked round and the earth dug out, 
no fleas breed wherever it is sprinkled. 

XXVI. For those warding off paralysis the fats of Pamiysis. 
decocted dormice and shrew mice are said to be very 
beneficial, as also millepedes taken in drink as I have 
prescribed b for quinsy ; for consumptives a green 
lizard boiled down in three sextarii of wine to one 

333 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tribus ad cyathum unum, singulis coclearibus sumptis 
per dies donec convalescant, coclearum cinerem 

87 potum in vino, XXVII. comitialibus morbis oesy- 
pum cum murrae momento et vini cyathis duobus 
dilutum magnitudine nucis abellanae, a balneo 
potum, testiculos arietinos inveteratos tritosque 
dimidio denarii pondere in aquae vel lactis asinini 
hemina. interdicitur vini potus quinis diebus ante 

88 et postea. magnifice laudatur et sanguis pecudum 
potus, item fel cum melle, praecipue agninum, catulus 
lactens sumptus absciso capite pedibusque ex vino et 
murra, lichen mulae potus in oxymelite cyathis tribus, 
stelionis transmarini cinis potus in aceto, tunicula 
stelionis, quam eodem modo ut anguis exuit, in potu. 
quidam et ipsum harundine exinteratum invetera- 
tumque bibendum dederunt, alii, in cibo ligneis veri- 

89 bus inassatum. operae pretium est scire quomodo 
praeripiatur, cum exuatur, membrana hiberna alias 
devoranti eam, quoniam nullum animal fraudulentius 
invidere homini tradunt, inde stelionum nomine in 
maledictum translato. observant cubile eius aestati- 
bus — est autem in loricis ostiorum fenestrarumque 
aut camaris sepulchrisve — ibi vere incipiente fissis 
harundinibus textas opponunt ceu nassas x quarum 
angustiis etiam gaudet, eo facilius exuens circum- 
datum torporem. sed relicto non potest remeare. 

90 nihil ei remedio in comitialibus morbis praefertur. 
prodest et cerebrum mustelae inveteratum potum- 

1 ceu nassas Mayhoff : casas vulg., Detlefsen: quassas codd. 

a A metaphorical meaning of stelio ia " crafty person," or 
" knave." 

6 Mayhoff makes a good emendation, for massa was a 
funnel-shaped trap into which fish could enter but froin 
which they could not escape. 

334 



BOOK XXX. xxvi. 86-xxvn. 90 

cyathus, the daily dose being one spoonful until con- 
valescence, or the ash of snails taken in wine ; 
XXVII. for epilepsy wool-grease with a morsel of 
myrrh, diluted with two cyathi of wine, a piece the 
size of a hazel nut being taken in drink, after the 
bath, or the testicles of a ram dried and pounded, 
half a denarius bv weight being taken in a hemina 
of water or of ass's milk ; to drink wine is forbidden 
for five days before and after. Very highly praised 
also is the blood of sheep, taken by the mouth, the 
gall of sheep, especially of a lamb, with honey, a 
sucking puppy taken in wine and myrrh after the head 
and feet have been cut off, the excrescence on the leg 
of a she-mule taken in three cyathi of oxymel, the ash 
of a spotted lizard from overseas taken in vinegar, 
the coat of a spotted lizard, which it casts in the same 
way as a snake, taken in drink. Some have also 
given in drink the lizard itself, gutted with a reed 
and dried, others in food the lizard roasted on wooden 
spits. It is worth while knowing how, when cast, 
the winter skin is hastily taken from the lizard, 
which otherwise devours it, for no living creature, 
they say, shows greater spite in cheating man, for 
which reason its name a has been turned into a term 
of abuse. They note in the summer time its nest, 
which is in the cornices over doors and windows, or 
in vaults or tombs. Over against the nest in the 
beginning of spring they place cages like weels b 
woven with split reeds, the narrow neck of which 
gives the creature actual delight, as thereby it casts 
off more easily the encumbrance of its covering, but 
when this has been left no return is possible. No 
remedy for epilepsy is preferred to this. A good one 
too is a weasel's brain dried and taken in drink, or a 

335 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

que et iocur eius, testiculi volvaeque aut ventriculus 
inveteratus cum coriandro, ut diximus, item cinis, 
silvestris vero tota in cibo sumpta. eadem omnia 
praedicantur ex viverra. lacerta viridis cum condi- 
mentis quae fastidium abstergeant, ablatis pedibus 
et capite, coclearum cinis addito semine lini et 

91 urticae cum melle unctu sanant. Magis placet 
draconis cauda in pelle dorcadis adalligata cervinis 
nervis vel lapilli e ventre hirundinum pullorum 
sinistro lacerto adnexi. dicuntur enim excluso pullo 
lapillum dare. quod si pullus is detur in cibo, quem 
primum pepererit, cum quis primum temptatus sit, 
liberatur eo malo. postea medetur hirundinum 
sanguis cum ture vel cor recens devoratum. quin 
et e nido earum lapillus inpositus recreare dicitur 

92 confestim et adalligatus in perpetuum tueri. prae- 
dicatur et iocur milvi devoratum et senectus ser- 
pentium, iocur vulturis tritum cum suo sanguine ter 
septenis diebus potum, cor pulli vulturini adalliga- 
tum. sed et ipsum vulturem in cibo dari iubent 
et quidem satiatum humano cadavere. quidam 
pectus eius bibendum censent in cerrino calice, aut 
testes gallinacei ex aqua et lacte, antecedente 
quinque dierum abstinentia vini, ob id inveteratos. 1 
fuere et qui viginti unam muscas rufas, et quidem a 
mortuo, 2 in potu darent, infirmioribus pauciores. 

1 inveteratos vulg. : inveterant Mayhojj : inveterate aut 
inveteratae codd. 

2 a mortuo Er Detlefsen, Mayhoff: mortuas Sillig. 



• Pliny XXIX. § CO. 

h The verb devorare, literally to swallow or devour, seema 
sometimes, at least in Pliny, to be a synonym of edere. 
e With the reading mortuas : " dead flies." 

33 6 



BOOK XXX. xxvii. 90-92 

weasel's liver, testicles, uterus, or paunch, dried with 
coriander, as I have said ° ; likewise its ash, or a wild 
weasel taken whole in food. All the same good 
qualities are praised in the ferret. A green lizard, 
with seasonings to banish any nausea, the feet and 
head being taken off, and an application of snails, 
reduced to ash, with linseed, nettle seed, and honey, 
are also cures. The Magi recommend the tail of a 
python attached as an amulet in gazelle skin by deer 
sinews, or the bits of stone from the crops of babv 
swallows fastened to the left upper arm : for 
swallows are said to administer a bit of stone to each 
chick when hatched. But if, at the first attack of 
epilepsy. the chick from the first egg laid is given to 
the patient in food, he is freed from that complaint ; 
afterwards the treatment is swallows' blood with 
frankincense, or eating b a fresh swallow's heart. 
Moreover, a little stone, taken from a swallow's nest 
and laid on the patient, is said to give immediate 
relief, and worn as an amulet permanent protection. 
Highly praised also is eating a kite's liver or a snake's 
slough, a vulture's liver pounded with its blood and 
taken in drink for thrice seven days, or the heart of 
a vulture's chick worn as an amulet. But they 
recommend also the vulture itself to be given in 
food, and that too when it has eaten its fill from a 
human corpse. Some are of opinion that a vulture's 
breast should be taken in drink in a cup made of 
Turkey-oak wood, or the testicles of a cock in water 
and milk, after abstinence from wine for five days ; 
for this purpose the testicles are preserved. There 
have also been some who gave in drink twenty-one 
red flies, and that too from a corpse, c but fewer to 
weak patients. 

337 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

93 XXVIII. Morbo regio resistunt sordes aurium aut 
mammarum peeudis denarii pondere cum murrae 
momento et vini cyathis duobus, canini capitis cinis 
in mulso, multipeda in vini hemina, vermes terreni 
in aceto mulso cum murra, gallina, si sit luteis pedi- 
bus, prius aqua purificatis, dein collutis vino quod 

94 bibatur, cerebrum perdicis aut aquilae in vini cyathis 
tribus, cinis plumarum aut interaneorum palumbis in 
mulso ad coclearia tria, passerum cinis sarcnentis 
crematorum coclearibus duobus in aqua mulsa. 
avis icterus vocatur a colore, quae si spectetur, sanari 
id malum tradunt et avem mori. hanc puto Latine 
vocari galgulum. 

95 XXIX. Phreneticis prodesse videtur pulmo pecu- 
dum calidus circa caput alligatus. nam muris cere- 
brum dare potui ex aqua aut cinerem mustelae vel 
etiam inveteratas carnes irenacei quis possit furenti, 
etiamsi certa sit medieina ? bubonis quidem ocu- 
lorum cinerem inter ea quibus prodigiose vitam ludi- 
ficantur acceperim, praecipueque febrium medicina 

96 placitis eorum renuntiat. namque et in duodecim 
signa digessere eam sole transmeanteiterumqueluna, 
quod totum abdicandum paucis exemplis docebo, 
siquidem crematis tritisque cum oleo perungui 
iubent aegros, cum geminos transit sol, cristis et 

a The golden oriole. 

338 



BOOK XXX. xxviii. 93-xxix. 96 

XXVIII. Jaundice is combated by dirt from the Curesfor 
ears or teats of a sheep, the dose being a denarius i aundlce - 
bv weight with a morsel of myrrh and two cyathi of 
wine, by the ash of a dog's head in honey wine, by a 
millepede in a hemina of wine, by earthworms in 
oxymel with myrrh, by drinking wine that has 
rinsed a hen's feet — they must be yellow — after they 
have been cleansed with water, by the brain of a 
partridge or eagle taken in three cyathi of wine, by 

the ash of the feathers or intestines of a wood- 
pigeon taken in honey wine up to three spoonfuls, or 
by the ash of sparrows burnt over twigs taken in two 
spoonfuls of hydromel. There is a bird called 
" jaundice " from its colour. If one with jaundice 
looks at it, he is cured, we are told, of that complaint 
and the bird dies. I think that this bird is the one 
called in Latin " galgulus." a 

XXIX. For brain-fever appears to be beneficial a PhrenUis, 
sheep's lung wrapped warm round the patient's head. e \ C [^g ical 
But who could give to one delirious the brain of a ™ Tes - 
mouse to be taken in water, or the ash of a weasel, 

or even the dried flesh of a hedgehog, even if the 
treatment were bound to be successful ? As for the 
eyes of the horned owl reduced to ash, I should be 
inclined to count this remedy as one of the frauds 
with which rnagicians mock mankind, and it is 
especially in fevers that true medicine is opposed to 
the doctrines of these quacks. For they have 
actually divided the art according to the passing of 
the sun, and also that of the moon, through the 
twelve signs of the Zodiac. That the whole theory 
should be rejected I will show by a few examples. If 
the sun is passing through Gemini, they recommend 
the sick to be rubbed with the combs, ears, and 

339 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

auribus et unguibus gallinaceorum, si luna, radiis 

97 barbisque eorum ; si virginem alteruter, hordei 
granis, si sagittarium, vespertilionis alis, si leonem 
luna. tamaricis fronde, et adiciunt sativae, si aquar- 
ium, e buxo carbonibus tritis. ex istis confessa aut 
certe verisimilia ponemus, sicuti lethargum olfac- 
toriis excitari et inter ea fortassis mustelae testiculis 
inveteratis x aut iocinere usto. his quoque pulmonem 
pecudis calidum circa caput adalligari putant utile. 

98 XXX. In quartanis medicina clinice propemodum 
nihil pollet. quamobrem plura eorum 2 remedia 
ponemus primumque ea quae adalligari iubent : 
pulverem in quo se accipiter volutaverit lino rutilo in 
linteolo, canis nigri dentem longissimum. pseudo- 
sphecem vocant vespam quae singularis volitat, hanc 
sinistra manu adprehensam subnectunt, alii vero 
quam quis eo anno viderit primam, viperae caput 
abscissum in linteolo vel cor viventi exemptum. 

99 muris rostellum auriculasque summas russeo panno 
ipsumque dimittunt, lacertae vivae dextrum oculum 
effossum, muscam capite suo deciso in pellicula 
caprina, scarabaeum qui pilulas volvit. propter 
hunc Aegypti magna pars scarabaeos inter numina 
colit, curiosa Apionis interpretatione, qua colligat 
Solis operum similitudinem huic animali esse, ad 

1 inveteratis vulg., Mayhoff : inveteratum codd., Deilefsen. 

2 eorumj Magorum coni. Warmington. 



" See List of Diseases. 

' Literally : " bed-side medicine." 

' " Bastard wasp." 



340 



BOOK XXX. xxix. 96-xxx. 99 

claws of cocks, burnt and pounded with oil ; if it is 
the moon, the cocks' spurs and wattles must be used. 
If either sun or moon is passing through Virgo, 
grains of barley must be used ; if through Sagit- 
tarius, a bat's wings ; if the moon is passing through 
Leo, leaves of tamarisk, and they add that it must 
be the cultivated shrub ; if through Aquarius, box- 
wood charcoal, pounded. Of these remedies I shall 
include onlv those recognised, or at least thought 
probable : for example, to rouse the victims of 
lethargus a by pungent smells, among which perhaps 
I would put the dried testicles of a weasel or the 
fumes of his burnt liver. For these patients also 
they consider it useful to wrap round the head the 
warm lung of a sheep. 

XXX. In quartans ordinarv medicines b are Quartans. 
practicallv useless ; for which reason I shall include 
several of the magicians' remedies, and in the first 
place the amulets they recommend : the dust in 
which a hawk has rolled himself tied in a linen cloth 
by a red thread, or the longest tooth of a black dog. 
The wasp they call pseudosphex, 6 that flies about by 
itself, they catch with the left hand and hang under 
the chin, and others use the first wasp seen in that 
year; a severed viper's head attached in a linen 
cloth, or the heart taken from the creature while 
still alive ; the snout and ear tips of a mouse, wrapped 
in red cloth, the mouse itself being allowed to go 
free ; the right eye gouged out of a living lizard ; a 
fly in a bit of goat skin, v.ith its head cut off; or the 
beetle that rolls little pellets. Because of this beetle 
the greater part of Egypt worships the beetle as one 
of its deities. Apion gives an erudite explanation : 
he infers that this creature resembles the sun and 

34i 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

100 excusandos gentis suae ritus. sed et alios adalli- 
gant Magi : cui sunt cornicula reflexa, sinistra manu 
collectum ; tertium, qui vocatur fullo, albis guttis, 
dissectum utrique lacerto adalligant, cetera sinistro ; 
cor anguium sinistra manu exemptum viventibus, 
scorpionis caudae quattuor articulos cum aculeo, 
panno nigro, ita ut nec scorpionem dimissum nec eum 
qui adalligaverit videat aeger triduo, post tertium 

101 circuitum id condat. erucam in linteolo ter lino cir- 
cumdant totidem nodis ad singulos dicente quare 
faciat qui medebitur, limacem in pellicula vel quat- 
tuor limacum capita praecisa harundine, multi- 
pedam lana involutam, vermiculos ex quibus tabani 
fiunt, antequam pennas germinent, alios e spinosis 
frutectis lanuginosos. quidam ex illis quaternos 

102 inclusos iuglandis nucis putamine adalligant. cocleas 
quae nudae inveniuntur, stelionem inclusum x cap- 
sulis subiciunt capiti et sub decessu febris emittunt. 
devorari autem iubent cor mergi marini sine ferro 
exemptum inveteratumque conteri et in calida aqua 
bibi, hirundinum corda cum melle, alii fimum 
drachma una in lactis caprini vel ovilli vel passo 
cyathis tribus ante accessiones, sunt qui totas cen- 

103 seant devorandas. aspidis cutem pondere sexta 

1 inclusum d(?) vulg. : inclusos Detlefsen : cum incluserunt 
Mayhojf : incluserant VRE. 



a " The fuller." 

b The plural capsulis because two kinds of amulet are 
referred to. 

342 



BOOK XXX. xxx. 99-103 

its revolutions, seeking to find an excuse for the 
religious customs of his race. But the Magi also 
make amulets of other beetles. There is one with 
bent-back little horns, which they take up in the left 
hand; a third kind, called fidlo, a with white spots, 
they cut in two and wear as an amulet on either 
upper arm ; all the rest are worn on the left arm ; 
the heart, taken out with the left hand from a living 
snake ; four joints of a scorpion's tail, with the sting, 
wrapped in black cloth, care being taken that the 
sick man does not see, for three days, either the 
scorpion when set free or him who attaches the 
amulet; after the third paroxysm he must hide it 
away. They tie a thread three times round a cater- 
pillar in a linen cloth, and with three knots, the 
ministering attendant saying at each knot the reason 
for so doing. Other amulets are : a slug in a piece 
of skin, or four slugs' heads cut off with a reed, a 
multipede wrapped up in wool, the grubs from 
which gad-flies are born, before they develop wings, 
or other hairy grubs found on thorny bushes. Some 
shut up four of these grubs in a walnut shell and 
attach as an amulet. Snails that are found without 
shells, or a spotted lizard shut up in a little box, 6 
they place under the patient's head and let out when 
the fever goes down. They also recommend the 
heart of a sea-diver, cut out without iron, dried and 
pounded, to be taken in warm water, or the hearts of 
swallows with honey ; others swallows' dung in doses 
of one drachma in three cyathi of goat's or sheep's 
milk or in raisin wine, to be taken before the 
paroxysms. Sorne hold that the entire swallow 
should be taken. An asp's skin, in doses of one 
sixth of a denarius by weight with an equal quantity 

343 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

parte denarii cum piperis pari modo Parthorum 
gentes in remedium quartanae bibunt. Chrysippus 
philosophus tradidit phryganion adalligatum remedio 
esse quartanis. quod esset animal neque ille descrip- 
sit nec nos invenimus qui novisset. demonstrandum 
tamen fuit a tam gravi auctore dictum, si cuius cura 
10-4 efficacior esset inquirendi. cornicis carnes esse et 
nidum x inlinere in longis morbis utilissimum putant. 
et in tertianis fiat potestas experiendi, quoniam 
miserias copia spei delectat, anne aranei, quem lycon 
vocant, tela cum ipso in spleniolo resinae ceraeque 
inposita utrisque temporibus et fronti prosit, aut ipse 
calamo adalligatus, qualiter et aliis febribus prodesse 
traditur, item lacerta viridis adalligata viva in eo vase 
quod capiat, quo genere et recidivas frequenter abigi 
adfirmant. 

105 XXXI. Hydropicis oesypum ex vino addita murra 
modice potui datur, nucis abellanae magnitudine. 
aliqui addunt et anserinum adipem ex vino myrteo. 
sordes ab uberibus ovium eundem effectum habent, 
item carnes inveteratae irenacei sumptae. vomitus 
quoque canum inlitus ventri aquam trahere pro- 
mittitur. 

106 XXXII. Igni sacro medetur oesypum cum pom- 
pholyge et rosaceo, ricini sanguis, vermes terreni 
ex aceto inliti, grillus contritus in manibus — quo 
genere praestat ut qui id fecerit, antequam incipiat 

1 nidum] conl. fimum Warmington. 

" ( hrvsippus of Soli was the thinl hoad of the .Stoie school. 
b With Warmington's emendation: " dung." 

344 



BOOK XXX. xxx. [03-xxxii. 106 

of pepper, is taken by Parthian tribes as a cure for 
a quartan. Chrysippus a the philosopher has told us 
that wearing a phryganion as an amulet is a cure for 
quartans : but what the animal is Chrysippus has 
left no account, and I have met nobody who knew. 
Yet a statement made by so great an authority it 
was necessary to mention, in case somebodys 
research should meet with better success. To eat 
the flesh of a crow or to apply its nest b as a friction 
thev think very beneficial in chronic diseases. In 
tertians too it may be worth while to try whether 
there is any benefit (so much does suffering delight 
in hoping against hope) in the spider called lycos 
(wolf) applied with its web in a small plaster of resin 
and the wax to both temples and to the forehead, or in 
the spider itself attached as an amulet in a reed, in 
which form it is also said to be beneficial for other 
fevers. A green lizard too may be tried, attached 
alive, in a vessel just large enough to contain it ; by 
which method we are assured that recurrent fevers 
also are often banished. 

XXXI. For dropsv is given in drink wool grease in Dropsy. 
wine mixed with a little myrrh, in doses the size of a 
hazel nut. Some also add goose grease in myrtle 
wine. The dirt from the udders of sheep has the 
same effect, as has the dried flesh of a hedgehog 
taken by the mouth. An application too of dogs' 
vomit to the abdomen brings away, we are assured, 

the dropsical fluid. 

XXXII. Erysipelas is benefited by wool grease Erysipeias. 
with pompholyx and rose oil, by the blood of a tick, 

by earth-worms applied in vinegar, by a cricket 
crushed between the hands — he who succeeds in 
doing this before the complaint shows itself is pro- 

345 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTORY 

vitium, j toto eo anno accidat ; j x oportet autem 
eum ferro cum terra cavernae suae tolli — anseris 
adeps, viperae caput aridum adservatum et com- 
bustum, dein ex aceto inpositum, senectus serpen- 
tium ex aqua inlita a balneo cum bitumine et sebo 
agnino. 

107 XXXIII. Carbunculus fimo columbino aboletur 
per se inlito vel cum lini sernine ex aceto mulso, 
item apibus quae in melle sint mortuae inpositis 
polentaque inspersa. 2 si in verendis sit ceterisque 
ibi ulceribus occurrit ex melle oesypum cum plumbi 
squamis, item fimum pecudum incipientibus car- 
bunculis. tubera et quaecumque molliri opus sit 
efficacissime anserino adipe curantur, idem praestat 
et gruum adeps. 

108 XXXIV. Furunculis mederi dicitur araneus prius- 
quam nominetur 3 inpositus et tertio die solutus, 
mus araneus pendens enecatus sic ut terram ne 
postea attingat, ter circumlatus furunculo, totiens 
expuentibus medente et cui is medebitur, ex gallin- 
aceo fimo quod cst rufum maxime recens inlitum ex 
aceto, ventriculus ciconiae ex vino decoctus, muscae 
inpari numero infricatae digito medico, sordes ex 
pecudum auriculis, sebum ovium vetus cum cinere 

1 toto eo anno accidat] obelos ego addo : toto eo anno non 
accipiat Detlefsen : toto ei anno non aceidat Mayhoff, qui ne 
pro ut anle qui coni. 

2 inspersa Detlefsen : inposita insuper Mayhojf : inposita 
inspersa codd. (si add. E). 

3 nominetur codd., Mayhoff : stamen netur Dethfsen. 

a With the MSS. reading accidat there is required a dative, 
but Mayhoff 's ei is strangely placed, while Detlefsen's accipiat 
is not ver} r attractive. Mayhoffs ne for ut would obviate the 
addition ofnon. Waxmington translates: " in this connection 
it guarantees tliat he who Bucceeds in doing this. . . ." 

346 



BOOK XXX. xxxii. 106-xxxiv. 108 

tected from an attack for the whole of that year, a but 
the cricket must be lifted with iron aloiiir with the 
earth of its hole — by goose grease, by the head of a 
viper, kept till dry, burnt, and then applied in 
vinegar, by a serpent's slough applied in water with 
bitumen and lamb suet after a bath. 

XXXIII. A carbuncle is removed by pigeon's carbuncies. 
dung, applied by itself or with linseed in oxymel, also 

by bees that have died in honey, applied and 
sprinkled with pearl barley. If a carbuncle or other 
sore is on the privates, the remedy is wool grease 
with lead scales b in honey, and sheep dung for 
incipient carbuncles. Hard swellings and whatever 
needs to be softened are treated very efficaciously 
with goose grease, and equally good results are also 
given by the grease of cranes. 

XXXIV. Boils are said to be cured by a spider, BoUs. 
applied before its name has been mentioned c and 
taken off on the third day, by a shrew mouse, killed 
and hung up so that it does not touch earth after 
death, and passed three times round the boil, both 
the attendant and the patient spitting the same 
number of times, by the red part of poultry dung, 
best applied fresh in vinegar, by a storlts crop boiled 
down in wine, by an odd number of flies rubbed on 
with the medical finger d by dirt from the ears of 
sheep, by stale mutton * suet with the ash of woman's 

b Some oxide of lead. 

c With Detlefsen's emendation : " before its web is spun.'' 
This is a clever conjecture, but we should expect the sub- 
junctive, while " naming " is not unusual in magical remedies. 

d The finger next the little finger. 

e Perhaps here " suet of ewes," because of peeudum 
preceding. See § 123. 

347 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

capilli mulierum, sebum arietis cum cinere pumicis 
et salis pari pondere. 

109 XXXV. Ambustis canini capitis cinis medetur, 
item glirium cum oleo, fimum ovium cum cera, 
murium cinis, coclearum quoque sic ut ne cicatrix 
quidem appareat, adips viperinus, fimi columbini 

HOcinis ex oleo inlitus, XXXYI. nervorum nodis 
capitis viperini cinis in oleo cyprino, terreni vermes 
cum melle inliti. dolores eorum <(sedat . . .y 1 
adips, amphisbaena mortua adalligata, adips vultur- 
inus cum ventre arefactus tritusque cum adipe 
suillo inveterato, cinis e capite bubonis in mulso 
potus cum lilii radice, si Magis credimus. in con- 
tractione nervorum caro palumbina in cibis prodest 
[et] 2 inveterata, irenacei spasticis, item mustelae 
cinis — serpentium senectus in pelle taurina adalligata 
spasmos fieri prohibet — opisthotonicis milvi iocur 
aridum tribus obolis in aquae nmlsae cyathis tribus 
potum. 

111 XXXVII. Reduvias et quae in digitis nascuntur 
ptervgia tollunt canini capitis cinis aut vulva decocta 
in oleo, superinlito butyro ovillo cum melle, item 
folliculus cuiuslibet animalium fellis, unguium sca- 
britiam cantharides cum pice tertio die solutae aut 
locustae frictae cum sebo hircino, pecudum sebum. 

1 sedat . . . add. Mayhoff. 
"■ et delere velim. 



u Here the name of an animal must be supplied. 
6 If et is kept it must, 1 think, mean " even." But it seems 
to be a duplication from -est. 

348 



BOOK XXX. xxxiv. 108-xxxvn. iii 

hair, and by ram's suet with ash of burnt pumice and 
an equal quantity of salt. 

XXXV. Burns are treated with ash of a dogs head, Bum<>. 
the ash of dormice and oil, sheep dung and wax, the 
the ash of mice ; with the ash of snails so well that not 
even a scar is to be seen, with viper fat, and with the 
ash of pigeon's dung applied in oil. XXXVI. Hard 
lumps in the sinews are treated with the ash of a 
viper's head in cyprus oil, and by an application of 
earth-worms and honey. Pains in the sinews <fare 
soothed by . . .) a fat, by a dead amphisbaena 
attached as an amulet, by vulture's fat with its crop, 
dried and pounded with stale pig's fat, by the ash of 
a horned-owl's head taken in honey wine with the 
root of a lily, if we believe the Magi. For cramp in 
the sinews wood-pigeon's flesh dried and b taken in 
the food, for cramping spasms hedgehog's flesh, also 
the ash of a weasel — a serpent's slough attached as 
an amulet in a piece of bull's leather prevents such 
spasms c — for opisthotonic tetanus the dried liver of 
a kite, the dose being three oboli taken in three 
cyathi of hydromel. 

XXXVII. Hangnails and whitlows that form on HangnaUs. 
the fingers d are removed by the ash of a dog's head, 
or by the uterus boiled down in oil, with a layer on 
top of butter from ewe's milk with honey, as also by 
the gall bladder of any animal : roughness of the 
nails by cantharides and pitch, taken ofT on the third 
day, or by locusts fried with he-goat suet, and by 
mutton suet. Some mix with the ingredients 

c Detlefsen's parenthesis seems the best way of treating 
this clumsy sentence. 

d This clause is added because pterygium may mean an eye 
affection. See List of Diseases. 

349 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aliqui miscent viscum et porcillacam, alii aeris florem 
et viscum ita ut tertio die solvant. 

112 XXXVIII. Sanguinem sistit in naribus sebum ex 
omento pecudum inditum, item coagulum ex aqua, 
maxime agninum subductum vel infusum, etiam si 
alia non prosint, adips anserinus cum butyro pari 
pondere pastillis ingestus, coclearum terrena, sed et 
ipsae extractae testis ; e naribus fluentem cocleae 
contritae fronti inlitae, aranei telae, gallinacei cere- 
bellum vel sanguis profluvia ex cerebro, item colum- 
binus ob id servatus concretusque. si vero ex vul- 
nere inmodice fluat, fimi caballini cum putaminibus 
ovorum cremati cinis inpositus mire sistit. 

113 XXXIX. Ulceribus medetur oesypum cum hordei 
cinere et aerugine aequis partibus, ad carcinomata 
quoque ac serpentia valet. erodit et ulcerum 
margines, carnesque exscrescentes ad aequalitatem 
redigit. explet quoque et ad cicatricem perducit. 
magna vis et in cinere pecudum fimi ad carcinomata, 
addito nitro, aut in cinere ex ossibus feminum agnin- 
orum, praecipue in his ulceribus quae cicatricem non 
trahunt, magna et pulmonibus, praecipue arietum : 
carnes excrescentes in ulceribus ad aequalitatem 

1 14 eflicacissime reducunt ; fimo quoque ipso ovium sub 
testo calefacto et subacto tumor vulnerum sedatur, 
fistulae purgantur sananturque, item epinyctides. 
summa vero in canini capitis cinere : excrescentia 



a Red oxide of copper. 

6 If there is any difference between in naribus here and 
ex naribus a few lines further on (this repetition may be care- 
lessness), the second will denote a morc violent flow of blood. 

c I.e. from the skull. 

d Night rashes. Sec List of Diseases. 



350 



BOOK XXX. xxxvii. iii -xxxix. 114 

mistletoe and pnrslane, others flowers of copper a and 
mistletoe, but remove the application on the third 
day. 

XXXVIII. Bleeding in the nostrils b is arrested by Epistazi 
inserting suet from the cawl of a sheep, also by its 
rennet in water, especially by lamb's rennet, snufFed 

up or injected, even if other remedies do no good, by 
goose grease with an equal quantity of butter worked 
up into lozenges, by the earth off snails, but also by 
the actual snails themselves, taken from their shells : 
but when there is severe epistaxis it is stayed by 
snails beaten up and applied to the forehead, and 
also by spider's web ; by the brain or blood of a cock 
are arrested fluxes from the brain, c also by pigeon's 
blood; it is stored and congealed for this purpose. 
If however there is violent haemorrhage from a 
wound, it is wonderfully arrested by an application 
of the ash of horse-dung burnt with egg shells. 

XXXIX. Ulcers are healed by wool grease, barley uieers. 
ash, and copper rust, in equal parts ; this is also 
equally efficacious for carcinomata and spreading 
sores. It cauterizes too the edges of ulcers, and 
levels out excrescences in the flesh ; it also fills up 
hollows and forms scars. There is also great power 

to heal carcinomata in the ash of sheep's dung with 
soda added, or in the ash of a lamb's thigh bones, 
especially when ulcers refuse to cicatrize. There is 
great power too in the lungs, especially those of 
rams, which flatten out very efficaciously excres- 
cences of flesh on ulcers ; ewe dung too by itself, 
warmed under an earthen jar and kneaded, reduces 
swollen wounds, and cleans and heals fistulas and 
epinyctides.^ The greatest power, however, is in 
the ash of a dog's head, which cauterizes and 

35* 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

omnia spodii vice erodit ac persanat. et murino 
fimo eroduntur, item mustelae fimi cinere. duritias 
in alto ulcerum et carcinomata persequitur multipeda 
trita admixta resina terebinthina et sinopide. eadem 
utilissima sunt in his ulceribus quae vermibus peri- 

115 clitentur. quin et vermium ipsorum genera miran- 
dos usus habent. cosses qui in ligno nascuntur sanant 
ulcera omnia, nomas vero combusti cum pari pondere 
anesi ex oleo inliti. vulnera recentia conglutinant 
terreni adeo ut nervos quoque abscisos inlitis solidari 
intra septimum diem persuasum sit ; itaque in melle 
servandos censent. cinis eorum margines ulcerum 
duriores absumit cum pice liquida vel symphyto et 

116 melle. quidam arefactis in sole ad vulnera ex aceto 
utuntur nec solvunt nisi biduo intermisso. eadem 
ratione et coclearum terrena prosunt, totaeque 
exemptae recentia vulnera tusae inpositae con- 
glutinant et nomas sistunt. herpes quoque animal a 
Graecis vocatur quo praecipue sanantur quaecumque 
serpunt. cocleae quoque prosunt eis cum testis suis 
tusae, cum murra quidem et ture etiam praecisos 

117 nervos sanare dicuntur. draconum quoque adeps sic- 
catus in sole magnopere prodest, item gallinacei cere- 
brum recentibus plagis. sale viperino in cibo sumpto 
tradunt et ulcera tractabiliora fieri ac celerius sanari. 
Antonius quidem medicus cum incidisset insanabilia 
ulcera, viperas edendas dabat miraque celeritate per- 



" Sce List of Diseases. 
6 Perhaps : " on the same principle." 
r See List of Diseases. 
rf It raeans " the creeper." Unidentified. 
• The salt in which vipers were preserved. Has sale arisen 
from sole above ? 

35 2 



BOOK XXX. xxxix. 114-117 

thoroughly heals all excrescences as well as does 
spodiuni. These are cauterized too by mouse 
dung, and also by the ash of weasel's dung. In- 
durations in deep-seated ulcers and carcinomata 
are penetrated by multipedes pounded and mixed 
with terebinth resin and earth of Sinope. The 
same remedies are very useful for those ulcers that 
are threatened by worms. Moreover, the various 
kinds of worms themselves have wonderful uses. 
The larvae that breed in wood heal all ulcers ; and 
nomae ° too if burnt with an equal weight of anise 
and applied in oil. Fresh wounds are united so well 
by earth worms that there is a general conviction 
that even severed sinews are by applying them made 
whole by the seventh day ; accordingly it is thought 
that they should be preserved in honey. Their ash 
with liquid pitch or symphytum and honey removes 
too-hard edges of ulcers. Some dry them in the sun, 
use in vinegar to treat wounds, and do not take them 
off without an interval of two days. Used in the 
same way b the earth too off snails is beneficial, and 
snails taken out whole, beaten up, and applied, 
unite fresh wounds and arrest nomae. c There is also 
an insect called by the Greeks kerpes, d which is 
specific for all creeping ulcers. Snails also are good 
for them, beaten up with their shells ; with myrrh 
indeed and frankincense they are said to heal even 
severed sinews. The fat of a python also, dried in 
the sun, is of great benefit, as is a cock's brain for 
fresh wounds. By viper's salt e taken in food we are 
told that ulcers become more amenable to treatment 
and heal more rapidly. Indeed the physician 
Antonius after operating on ulcers without success 
gave vipers as food to bring about complete cures 

353 

VOL. VIII. N 



PLINY. XATURAL HISTORY 

sanabat. trixallidum cinis margines ulcerum duros 
aufert cum melle, item fimi columbini cinis cum 
arrhenico et melle ; eadem x quae erodenda sunt. 

118 bubonis cerebrum cum adipe anserino mire vulnera 2 
dicitur glutinare, quae vero vocantur cacoethe cinis 
feminum arietis cum lacte muliebri, diligenter prius 
elutis linteolis, ulula avis cocta in oleo, cui liquato 
miscetur butvrum ovillum et mel. ulcerum labra 
duriora apes in melle mortuae emolliunt, et elephan- 
tiasin sanguis et cinis mustelae. verberum vulnera 
atque vibices pellibus ovium recentibus inpositis 
obliterantur. 

1 19 XL. Articulorum fracturis cinis feminum pecudis 
peculiariter medetur cum cera — efficacius idem medi- 
camentum fit maxillis simul ustis cornuque cervino 
et cera mollita rosaceo — ossibus fractis caninum 
cerebrum linteolo inlito, superpositis lanis quae 
subinde 3 subfundantur, fere XI III diebus solidat, 
nec tardius cinis silvestris muris cum melle aut 
vermium terrenorum, qui et ossa extrahit. 

120 XLI. Cicatrices ad colorem reducit pecudum 
pulmo, praecipue ex ariete, sebum ex nitro, lacertae 
viridis cinis, vernatio anguium ex vino decocta, 

1 eadem quae erodenda sunt codd. : ea quae erodenda 
sunt vulg., Detlefsen : eademque erodentia sunt Mayhojf. 

2 vulnera codd. et edd. : ulcera coni. Mayhoff. 

3 Inter subinde et subfundantur add. oleo Mayhoff: subinde 
oleo fundantur coni. Warmington. 

354 



BOOK XXX. xxxix. 117-xLi. r^o 

with wonderful rapiditv. Tlie ash of the trixallis a 
with honey removes hard edges on ulcers, as does 
ash of pigeon's dung with arsenic and honey ; these 
also remove all that needs a cautery. 6 The brain of 
a horned owl with goose grease is said to unite 
wounds wonderfully, as, with woman's milk, does the 
ash of a ram's thighs the ulcers called malignant, but 
the cloths must be first carefully washed, or the 
screech owl boiled in oil, with which when melted 
down are mixed ewe butter and honey, The lips of 
ulcers that are too hard are softened by bees that 
have died in honey, and elephantiasis by the blood 
and ash of a weasel. Wounds and weals made by 
the scourge are removed by an application of fresh 
sheep-skin. 

XL. For fractures of the joints a specific is the Fractures. 
ash of a sheep's thighs with wax — this medicament 
is more efficacious if there are burnt with the thighs 
the sheep's jawbones and a deer's horn, and the wax 
is softened with rose oil — specific for broken bones 
is a dog's brain, spread on a linen cloth, over which 
is placed wool, occasionally moistened underneath 
(with oil). In about fourteen days it unites the 
broken parts, as does quite as quickly the ash of a 
field-mouse with honey, or that of earth-worms, 
which also extracts fragments of bone. 

XLI. Scars are restored to the natural colour by scarsand 
the lungs of sheep, particularly of rams, by their suet skin dUeases ' 
in soda, by the ash of a green lizard, by a snake's 
slough boiled down in wine, and by pigeon's dung 

a See § 49. Antonius is perhaps Antonius Castor (XXV. 
§9). 

6 The reading of the MSS. can be just conatrued, with 
eadem subject, and ea aujerunt understood. 

355 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

finuim columbinum cum mellc, item l vitiligines albas 
ex vino, vitiliginem et cantharides cum rutae folio- 
rum duabus partibus. in sole, donec fonnicet cutis, 
tolerandae sunt, postea fovere oleoque perunguere 
necessarium iterumque inlinire, idque pluribus diebus 

121 facere, caventes exulcerationem altam. ad easdem 
vitiligines et muscas inlini iubent cum radice eupa- 
toriae, 2 gallinarum fimi candidum servatum in oleo 
vetere cornea pyxide, vespertilionis sanguinem, fel 
irenacei ex aqua. scabiem vero bubonis cerebrum 
cum aphronitro, sed ante omnia sanguis caninus 
sedant, pruritum cocleae minutae latae contritae 
inlitae. 

122 XLII. Harundines et tela quaeque alia extra- 
henda sunt corpori evocat mus dissectus inpositus, 
praecipue vero lacerta dissecta, et vel caput tantum 
eius contusum cum sale inpositum, cocleae ex his 
quae gregatim folia sectantur contusae inpositaeque 
cum testis et eae quae manduntur exemptae testis, 
sed cum leporis coagulo efficacissime ossa anguium. 
eadem cum coagulo cuiuscumque quadripedis intra 
tertium diem adprobant effectum. laudantur et 
cantharides tritae cum farina hordei. 

123 XLIII. In muliebribus malis membranae a partu 
ovium proficiunt, sicut in capris rettulimus. fimum 
quoque pecudum eosdem usus habet. locustarum 

1 item codd. et edd. : idem coni. Mayhoff. 

2 eupatoriae Sillig coll. XXV. § 65 : lupatoria codd. 

a There were distinguished by the Romans three kinds of 
vitiligo (psoriasis) : the dull white, the dark, and the bright 
white. 

6 The word easdem seems to include both the vitiligines 
albas and the vitiliginem of § 120. 

c Perhaps : " bits of reed." 

356 



BOOK XXX. xll 120-XLI11. 123 

with honey ; the last in wine does the same for both 
kinds ° of white vitiligo; for vitiligo cantharides 
also with two parts of rue leaves. These must 
be kept on in the sun until the skin is violently 
irritated ; then there must be fomentation and 
rubbing with oil, followed by another application. 
This treatment should be repeated for several days, 
but deep ulceration must be guarded against. For 
vitiligo of all kinds b they also recommend the 
application of flies with root of eupatoria, or the 
white part of hens' dung kept in old oil in a horn box, 
or bat's blood, or hedgehog's gall in water. Itch scab 
however is relieved by the brain of a horned owl with 
saltpetre, but best of all by dog's blood, and pruritus 
by the small, broad, kind of snail, crushed and 
applied. 

XLII. Arrows, c weapons, and everything that TMngs 
must be extracted from the flesh, are withdrawn by 7nfiesh. 
a mouse split and laid on the wound, but especially 
by a split lizard, or even its head only, crushed and 
laid on the wound with salt, by the snails that attack 
leaves in clusters, crushed and similarly laid on with 
the shells, and edible snails without them, but most 
efficaciouslv by the bones of snakes with hare's 
rennet. These bones also, with the rennet of any 
quadruped, show a good result by the third day. 
Cantharides too are highly recommended, beaten 
up and applied with barley meal. 

XLIII. For women's complaints the afterbirth of Femaie 

r. . t • -1 i i • r complaints. 

an ewe is ot service, as 1 said when speaking ot 
goats. d The dung too of sheep e has the same 

d See XXVIII. § 256. 

e The word ovis appears to be used when the sex must be 
female, and pecus when the sex of the sheep does not matter. 

357 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

suffitu stranguriae maxume mulierum iuvantur. 
gallinaceorum testes si subinde a conceptu edat 
mulier, mares in utero fieri dicuntur. partus con- 
ceptos hystricum cinis potus continet, maturat 
caninum lacte potum, evocat membrana e secundis 
canum, si terram non attigerit, lumbis parturientium 

124 tactis. 1 fimum murinum aqua pluvia dilutum mammas 
mulierum a partu tumentes reficit. cinis irenace- 
orum cum oleo perunctarum custodit partus contra 
abortus. facilius enituntur quae . . . 2 anserinum 
cum aquae duobus cyathis sorbuere, aut ex ventriculo 

125 mustelino per genitale effluentes aquas. vermes 
terreni inliti ne cervicis scapularumque nervi doleant 
praestant. graves secundas pellunt in passo poti. 
idem per se inpositi mammarum suppurationes con- 
cocunt et aperiunt extrahuntque et ad cicatricem 
perducunt. lac evocant poti cum mulso. inveniun- 
tur et in gramine vermiculi qui adalligati collo 
continent partum, detrahuntur autem sub partu, 
alias eniti non patiuntur. cavendum et ne in terra 
ponantur. conceptus quoque causa dantur in potu 

126 quini aut septeni. cocleae in cibo sumptae ad- 
celerant partum, item conceptum inpositae cum 
croco. eaedem ex amylo et tragacantha inlitae pro- 
rluvia sistunt. prosunt et purgationibus sumptae in 
cibo et vulvam aversam corrigunt cum medulla 
cervina ita ut uni cocleae denarii pondus addatur et 

1 tactis Detlefsen, Mayhoff : lactis aut potus lactis codd. 
- lacunam indicat Mayhoff : cum VRE : adipein d T: 
dcl. Detlefsen ; serum Brahnan. 



The serum (i.e. semen) of Brakman may be right. 
Soe Index of Plants u\ vol. VII. 



358 



BOOK XXX. xliii. 123-126 

medicinal uses. Fumigation with lobsters is of the 
greatest help in strangury in women. If occasionally 
after conception a woman eats the testicles of a cock, 
males are said to be formed in the uterus. The 
foetus is retained by taking in drink the ash of 
porcupines, brought to maturity by drinking bitch's 
milk, and withdrawn by the afterbirth of a bitch, 
which must not touch the earth, laid on the loins of 
the Avoman in childbed. Mouse dung diluted with 
rain water reduces the breasts of women swollen after 
childbirth. Rubbing the woman all over with the 
ash of hedgehogs and oil prevents miscarriage. The 
delivery of those is easier who have swallowed goose 
. . . a with two cyathi of water, or the liquids that 
flow from a weasel's uterus through its genitals. 
Applying earth-worms prevents pains in the sinews 
of neck and shoulders, and taken in raisin wine bring 
away a sluggish afterbirth. These worms laid by 
themselves on the breasts also mature suppurations 
there, open them, draw out the pus, and make them 
cicatrize. Taken with honey wine they stimulate 
the flow of milk. There are also little worms found 
in grass; these, tied round the neck as an amulet, 
prevent a miscarriage, but they are taken off just 
before the birth, otherwise they prevent delivery. 
Care too must be taken not to lay them on the earth. 
Further, to cause conception five or seven at a time 
are given in drink. Snails taken in food hasten 
delivery, and conception too if applied with saffron. 
An application of snails in starch and tragacanth b 
arrests fluxes. They are also good for menstruation 
if taken in food, and correct with deer's marrow dis- 
placements of the uterus ; to one snail should be 
added a denarius by weight of marrow and cyprus oil. 

359 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cvpri. inflationes quoque vulvarum discutiunt ex- 
emptae testis tritae cum rosaceo. ad haec Asty- 

127 palaeicae maxime eliguntur. alio modo Africanae 
binae tritae cum feni Graeci quod tribus digitis 
capiatur, addito melle coclearibus quattuor, inlin- 
untur alvo prius irino suco perunctae. sunt et 
minutae loricaeque * candidae cocleae passim ober- 
rantes. hae arefactae sole in tegulis tusaeque in 
farinam miscentur lomento aequis partibus can- 
doremque et levorem corpori adferunt. scabendi 
desideria tollunt minutae et latae cum polenta. 

128 viperam mulier praegnans si transcenderit, abortum 
faciet, item amphisbaenam, mortuam dumtaxat, 
t nam vivam habentes in pyxide inpune transeunt ; 
etiam si mortua sit atque adservata, partus faciles 
praestat ; vel mortua mirum, si sine adservata 
transcenderit gravida, innoxium fieri, si protinus 
transcendat adservatam.f 2 anguis inveterati suffitu 
menstrua adiuvant. 

129 XLIV. Anguium senectus adalligata lumbis faci- 
liores partus facit, protinus a puerperio removenda. 
dant et in vino bibendam cum ture, aliter sumpta 
abortum facit. baculum quo angui rana excussa sit 
parturientes adiuvat, trixallidum cinis inlitus cum 
melle purgationes, item araneus qui filum deducit ex 

1 loricaeque VRdT : longaeque E vulg. Detlefsen : loricatae- 
qiie coni. Warmington. 

2 Sir codd. : in pro vel Mayhoff. Obelos ego addo loco, ut 
videtur, desperato. 

a The text and its explanation are so conjectural that J 
prefer to print the reading of the MSS. within daggers. I 

360 



BOOK XXX. xliii. 126-XLiv. 129 

Inflation too of the uterus is dispersed by snails taken 
out of their shells and beaten up with rose oil. For 
these purposes the most preferred are snails of 
Astypalaea. African snails are prepared in a 
different way ; doses of two are beaten up with a 
three-finger pinch of fenugreek, four spoonfuls of 
honey added, and the whole applied after rubbing 
the abdomen with iris juice. There are also found 
straying everywhere small snails with a white 
corslet. Dried in the sun on tiles, crushed to 
powder, and mixed with an equal quantity of bean 
meal, these impart both whiteness and smoothness to 
the skin. The desire to scratch is removed by the 
small, broad snails with pearl barley. If a woman 
with child step across a viper she will miscarry ; 
similarly if she cross an amphisbaena, a dead one at 
least, fbut those that carry on their persons a live one 
in a box step across with impunity ; even if it is a dead 
one and preserved it makes childbirth easy. In the 
case of a dead one, wonderful to relate, no harm is done 
should a pregnant woman cross it without a preserved 
one, if she at once crosses a preserved onef.° Fumiga- 
tion with a dried snake assists menstruation. 

XLIV. A snake's slough, tied to the loins as an 
amulet, makes childbirth easier, but it must be taken 
off immediately after delivery. They also give it in 
wine to be taken with frankincense ; in any other 
way it causes miscarriage. A stick with Avhich a 
frog has been shaken from a snake helps lying-in 
women, and the ash of the trixallis, applied with 
honey, helps menstruation, as does a spider that is 

translate as a stop-gap the text of Mayhoff. See also Ad- 
ditional Xote on p. 374. 

361 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

alto. capi debet manu cava tritusque admoveri, 
quod si redeuntem prenderit, inhibebit idem purga- 

130 tiones. lapis aetites in aquilae repertus nido custodit 
partus contra omnes abortuum insidias. penna 
vulturina subiecta pedibus adiuvat parturientes. 
ovum corvi cavendum gravidis constat, quoniam 
transgressis abortum per os faciat. fimum accipitris 
in mulso potum videtur fecundas facere. vulvarum 
duritias, collectiones adeps anseris aut cygni x emollit. 

131 XLV. Mammas a partu custodit adeps anseris cum 
rosaceo et araneo. Phryges et Lycaones mammis 
puerperio vexatis invenerunt otidum adipem utilem 
esse. his quae vulva strangulentur et blattas in- 
linunt. ovorum perdicis putaminum cinis cadmiae 
mixtus et cerae stantes mammas servat. putant et 
ter circumductas ovo perdicis aut ortygis 2 non in- 
clinari et, si sorbeantur eadem, fecunditatem facere, 
lactis quoque copiam, cum anserino adipe perunctis 
mammis dolores minuere, molas uteri rumpere, 
scabiem vulvarum sedare, si cum cimice trito in- 
linantur. 

132 XLVI. Vespertilionum sanguis psilotri vim habet, 
sed alis puerorum inlitus non satis proficit nisi aerugo 
vel cicutae semen postea inducatur. sic enim aut in 

1 cygni d r, vulg., Mayhoff : ciconiae E, Detlefsen. 

2 ortygis Brakman : otidis Detlefsen post Urlichs : om. 
codd.: lacunam Sillig et Mayhoff: anseris coni. Mayhoff, 
Sereno collato. 



a " The eagle stone." See XXX VI. § 149. 

6 An oxide of zinc. 

' With the other conjectures, " bustard " or " goose. 

a For these molae see VII. § 63 and X. § 184. 

362 



BOOK XXX. xliv. 129 -xlvi. 132 

spinning a thread from a height. It should be 
caught in the hollow of the hand, crushed, and 
applied; but if it is caught as it ascends again, the 
same treatment will arrest menstruation. The ?tone 
aetites, a found in the eagle's nest, protects a foetus 
from all plots to cause abortion. A vulture's feather, 
placed under their feet, helps lying-in women. It is 
certain that pregnant women must avoid a raven's 
egg, since if they step over it they will miscarry 
through the mouth. A hawk's dung taken in honey 
wine seems to make women fertile. Indurations and 
abscesses of the uterus are softened by goose grease 
or by swan's grease. 

XLV. The breasts after delivery are safeguarded 
by goose grease with rose oil and a spider's web. The 
Phrygians and Lycaonians have found that the fat of 
bustards is beneficial for teats disordered by child- 
birth. For uterine suffocation beetles also are 
applied. Ash of partridge egg-shells mixed with 
cadmia b and wax keeps the breasts firm. They also 
think that breasts do not droop if circles are traced 
round them three times with the egg of partridge or 
quail, c and that if this egg is swallowed it also pro- 
duces fertility and an abundant supply of milk as 
well, that it lessens pains in the breasts if they are 
rubbed with it and goose grease, that it breaks up 
moles d in the uterus, and that uterine itch is relieved 
if it is applied with crushed bugs/ 

XLVI. Bats' blood is a depilatory, but an applica- Depuatories. 
tion to the armpits of boys is not enough unless 
copper rust or hemlock seed is spread over it after- 

e Probably cimice is a generic singular. The probable 
lacuna in this chapter is perhaps larger than one word, for the 
plural eadem has only the singular ovum to which to refer. 

3(>i 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

totum tolluntur pili aut non excedunt lanuginem. 
idem et cerebro eorum profici putant — est autem 
duplex, rubens t itaque t * et candidum — aliqui 

133 sanguinem et iocur eiusdem admiscent. quidam in 
tribus heminis olei discocunt viperam, exemptis ossi- 
bus psilotri vice utuntur evolsis prius pilis quos 
renasci nolunt. fel irenacei psilotrum est, utique 
mixto vespertilionis cerebro et lacte caprino, item per 
se cinis. lacte canis primiparae 2 evolsis pilis vel 
nondum natis perunctae partes alios non sufficiunt. 

134 idem evenire traditur sanguine ricini evulsi cani, 
item hirundinino sanguine vel felle, ovis formicarum. 
supercilia denigrari muscis tritis tradunt, si vero 
oculi nigri nascentium placeant, soricem praegnanti 
edendum, capilli ne canescant vermium terrenorum 
cinere praestari admixto oleo. 

135 XLVII. Infantibus qui lacte concreto vexantur 
praesidio est agninum coagulum ex aqua potum, aut 
si hoc vitium coagulato lacte acciderit, discutitur 
coagulo ex aceto dato. ad dentitionem cerebrum 
pecoris utilissimum est. ossibus in canino fimo in- 
ventis adustio infantium quae vocatur siriasis adalli- 
gatis emendatur, ramex infantium lacertae viridis 
admotae dormientibus morsu. postea harundini in- 
ligata 3 suspenditur 4 in fumo, traduntque pariter 

136 cum expirante ea sanari infantem. coclearum saliva 

1 itaque codd. : utique vulg., Detlefsen, Maylwff, qui atque 
vel aliquando et coni. ; obelos addo. 

2 primiparae Mayhoff, qui prius addit : primi partus Detlej- 
sen : primi parae aut: -partus codd. 

3 inligata Detlefsen : alligata Gelenius : adalligatae vulg. : 
inligant et Mayhoff : inligate (-ti d) codd. 

4 suspenditur Gelenius, Detlefsen : suspendunt Mayhoff : 
suspenduntur codd. 

3 6 4 



BOOK XXX. xlvi. 132-xLvii. 136 

wards ; this trcatment either removes the hair alto- 
gether or reduces it to down. Thcy think that a bat's 
brain is equally efficacious — this brain is double, 
red and white a — some adding the bat's blood 
and liver. Others in three heminae of oil thoroughly 
boil a viper after taking out the bones, using the 
decoction as a depilatory after first plucking out the 
hairs they do not wish to grow again. The gall of 
a hedgehog is a depilatory, especially when mixed 
with a bat's brain and goat's milk, as is also the ash 
by itself. Parts rubbed with the milk of a bitch with 
her first litter, when the hairs have been plucked out 
or not vet grown, do not grow hair again. The same 
result is said to be produced by the blood of a tick 
plucked from a dog, by the blood or gall of a swallow, 
or by the eggs of ants. They say that eyebrows are 
made black by crushed flies ; if however it is desired 
that the eyes of babies should be black, the expectant 
mother must eat a shrewmouse ; hair is prevented 
from turning grey by the ash of earth-worms mixed 
with oil. 

XLYII. Babies that are troubled with curdled milk Thetroubies 
have a preventative in lamb's rennet taken in water ; °/ Jafr ^- 
or if the trouble has occurred with milk already 
curdled it is dispersed bv this rennet given in vinegar. 
For dentition the brain of a sheep is very beneficial. 
The inflammation of babies called siriasis is cured by 
the bones found in dog's dung worn as an amulet, and 
hernia in babies by bringing a green lizard to bite 
them when asleep. Afterwards they fasten the lizard 
to a reed and hang it in smoke, and thev say that as it 
dies the baby recovers. The slime of snails applied 

a This addition, which I treat as a parenthesis, seems point- 
less. 

365 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOKY 

inlita infantium oculis palpebras corrigit gignitque. 
ramicosis coclearum cinis cum ture ex ovi albo suco x 
inlitus per dies XXX medetur. inveniuntur in 
corniculis coclearum harenaceae duritiae, hae denti- 
tionem facilem praestant adalligatae. coclearum 
inanium cinis cerae mixtus procidentium interan- 

137 eorum partes extremas prohibet. oportet autem 
cineri misceri saniem punctis emissam. 2 cerebrum 
viperae inligatum pellicula 3 dentitiones adiuvat. 
idem valent et grandissimi dentes serpentium. 
fimum corvi lana adalligatum infantium tussi 
medetur. vix est serio conplecti quaedam, non 
omittenda tamen, quia sunt prodita. ramici infan- 
tium lacerta mederi iubent. marem hanc prendi, id 
intellegi eo quod sub 4 cauda unam cavernam habeat, 

138 id agendum ut per aureum vel argenteum clostrum 5 
mordeat vitium, tum in calice novo inligatum 6 in 
fumo poni. urina infantium cohibetur muribus 
elixis in cibo datis. scarabaeorum cornua grandia 
denticulata adalligata iis amuleti naturam obtinent. 

139 bovae capiti lapillum inesse tradunt, quem ab ea 
expui, si necem timeat, inopinantis praeciso capite 
exemptum adalligatumque mire prodesse dentitioni. 
item cerebrum eiusdem ad eundem usum adalligari 
iubent et limacis lapillum sive ossiculum ; invenitur 
in dorso. magnifice iuvat et ovis cerebrum gingivis 

1 suco Detlefsen, codd. : speeillo Mayhoff. 

2 emissam d, Mayhoff, qui ante addit : emissum E, Detlef- 
sen, qui cum cerebrum iungit. 

3 pellicula d, Mayhoff : pelliculae RE, Dellefsen. 

4 eo quod sub Detlefsen, Mayhoff : varia codd. 

5 aureum vel argenteum clostrum Mayhoff, qui claustrum 
scribit : aurum et argentum et clostrum (closirum, dosirum) 
codd.: electrum pro clostrum Warmington. 

ti inligatum Detlefsen : inligatam Mayhoff : inligatur codd. 

366 



BOOK XXX. xlvii. 136-139 

to the eyes of babies straightens the eyelashes and 
makes them grow. Hernia is cured by the ash of 
snails applied for thirty days with frankincense in 
white of egg. a There are found in the little horns 
of snails sandy grits ; worn as an amulet these make 
dentition easy. The ash of snail shells mixed with 
wax checks procidence of the end of the bowel, but 
the ash should be mixed with the discharge that 
exudes when the snails are pricked. A viper's brain 
tied on with a piece'of his skin helps dentition. The 
same effect have also the largest teeth of serpents. 
The dung of a raven attached with wool as an 
amulet cures babies' coughs. Certain details can 
scarcely be included as serious items, but I must not 
omit them, since they have been put on record. As 
a remedy for hernia in babies thev recommend a 
lizard ; there should be taken a male, which can be 
recognised by its having one vent beneath the tail. 
The necessary ritual is : that it must bite the lesion 
through a gold or silver barrier ; then it must be 
fastened in an unused cup and placed in smoke. 
Incontinence of urine in babies is checked by giving 
in their food boiled mice. The tall, indented horns 
of the beetle, fastened to babies, serves as an 
amulet. In the head of the boa is said to be a little 
stone, which is spit out by it when in fear of violent 
death ; they add that dentition is wonderfully aided 
if the creature's head is cut off" unawares, the stone 
extracted and worn as an amulet. The brain too of 
the same creature they recommend to be worn for 
the same purpose, or the stone or little bone found 
on the back of a slug. A splendid help also is the 
brain of a ewe rubbed on the gums, as for the ears is 

a With Mayhoffs reading : ' ; applied with a probe, etc." 

3 6 7 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inlitum sicut aures adeps anserinus cum ocimi suco 
inpositus. sunt vermiculi in spinosis herbis asperi, 
lanuginosi, hos adalligatos protinus mederi tradunt 
infantibus, si quid ex cibo haereat. 

140 XLVIII. Somnos adlicit oesvpum cum murrae mo- 
mento in vini cyathis duobus dilutum, vel cum adipe 
anserino et vino myrtite, avis cuculus leporina pelle 
adalligatus, ardiolae rostrum in pelle asinina fronti 
adalligatum. putant et per se rostrum effectus 
eiusdem esse vino collutum. e diverso somnum arcet 
vespertilionis caput aridum adalligatum. 

141 XLIX. In urina virili enecata lacerta venerem eius 
qui fecerit cohibet. nam inter amatoria esse Magi 
dicunt. inhibent et cocleae, nmurn columbinum cum 
oleo et vino potum. pulmonis vulturini dextrae 
partes venerem concitant viris adalligatae gruis pelle, 
item si lutea ex ovis quinque columbarum admixto 
adipis suilli denarii pondere ex melle sorbeantur, 
passeres in cibo vel ova eorum, gallinacei dexter 

142 testis arietina pelle adalligatus. ibium cinere cum 
adipe anseris et irino perunctis, si conceptus x sit, 
partus contineri, contra inhiberi venerem pugnatoris 
galli testiculis anserino adipe inlitis adalligatisque 
pelle arietina tradunt, item cuiuscumque galli, si 
cum sanguine gallinacei lecto subiciantur. cogunt 
concipere invitas saetae ex cauda mulae, 2 si iunctis 

143 evellantur, inter se conligatae in coitu. qui in 

1 conceptus sit vulg., Detlefsen : conceptos Mayhoff : con- 
ceptus codd. 

2 mulae codd. : rauli et mulae coni. Mayhoff. 



" If nam is " for," amatoria would have to mean " anta- 
phrodisiacs." 

368 



BOOK XXX. xlvii. 139-xLix. 143 

goose grease put in them with juice of ocimum. On 
prickly plants are grubs which are rough and downy. 
These worn by babies as an amulet are said to effect 
an immediate recovery when part of their food sticks 
in the throat. 

XLVIII. Sleep is induced by wool grease with a Remedies 
morsel of myrrh diluted in two cyathi of wine, or else ^ ors ^' 
with goose grease and myrtle wine, by the cuckoo 
bird in a piece of hare's fur worn as an amulet, or bv 
a heron's beak worn as an amulet on the forehead 
in a piece of ass's hide. It is thought too that the 
beak of the heron by itself rinsed in wine has the 
same effect. Sleep is kept away, on the contrary, 
by a dried bat's head worn as an amulet. 

XLIX. A lizard drowned in a man's urine is anta- Aphrodi- 
phrodisiac to him who passed it, but ° the Magi claim su 
that it is a love-philtre. Antaphrodisiac too are 
snails, and pigeon's dung taken with oil and wine. 
Aphrodisiac for men are the right parts of a vul- 
ture's lung, worn as an amulet in a piece of crane's 
skin ; aphrodisiac also are the yolks of five pigeons' 
eggs mixed with a denarius by weight of pig fat and 
swallowed in honey, sparrows or their eggs in food, 
or the right testicle of a cock worn as an amulet in a 
piece of ram's-skin. They say that rubbing with 
ibis ash, goose grease and iris oil prevent miscarriage 
when there has been conception ; that desire on the 
contrary is inhibited if a fighting cock's testicles are 
rubbed with goose grease and worn as an amulet in 
a ram's skin, as it also is if with a cock's blood any 
cock's testicles are placed under the bed. Women 
unwilling to conceive are forced to do so by hairs 
from the tail of a she-mule, pulled out during the 
animal copulation and entwined during the human. 

3 6 9 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

urinam canis suam egesserit dicitur ad venerem 
pigrior fieri. mirum et de stelionis cinere, si verum 
est, linamento involutum in sinistra manu venerem 
stimulare, si transferatur in dextram, inhibere, item 
vespertilionis sanguinem collectum flocco subposi- 
tumque capiti mulierum libidinem movere aut 
anseris linguam in cibo vel potione sumptam. 

1-44 L. Phthiriasim et totius corporis pota membrana 
senectutis anguium triduo necat, serum exempto 
caseo potum cum exiguo sale. caseos, si cerebrum 
mustelae coagulo addatur, negant corrumpi vetustate 
aut a muribus attingi. eiusdem mustelae cinis si 
detur in offa gallinaceis et columbinis, tutos esse a 
mustelis. iumentorum urinae tormina vespertilione 
adalligato finiuntur, verminatio ter circumlato mediis 
palumbe. mirum dictu, palumbis emissus moritur 
iumentumque liberatur confestim. 

145 LI. Ebriosis ova noctuae per triduum data in vino 
taedium eius adducunt. ebrietatem arcet pecudum 
assus pulmo praesumptus. hirundinis rostri cinis 
cum murra tritus et vino quod bibetur inspersus 
securos praestabit a temulentia. invenit Orus 
Assyriorum rex. 

1-16 LII. Praeter haec sunt notabilia animalium ad 
hoc volumen pertinentium : gromphena — avem in 
Sardinia narrant grui similem, ignotam iam etiam 

37° 



BOOK XXX. xlix. 143-Lii. 146 

A man who passes his urine on a dog's is said to 
become less sexually active. A wonderful thing again 
(if it is true) is told about the ash of the spotted 
lizard : if wrapped in a linen cloth and held in the 
left hand it is aphrodisiac ; if transferred to the right 
hand it is antaphrodisiac. Another wonder : the 
blood of a bat, collected on a flock of wool and placed 
under the head ofwomen, moves them to lust, as does 
the tongue of a goose, taken either in food or in 
drink. 

L. The lice of phthiriasis even of the w r hole body Licei 
are destroyed in three days by taking in drink the mwots, etc. 
cast slough of a snake, or by drinking, with a little 
salt, whey after the cheese has been taken out. 
They say that if the brain of a weasel is added to 
rennet, cheeses neither go rotten through age nor 
are touched by mice. If the ash too of a weasel is 
given to poultry or pigeons in their mash, they are 
said to be safe from weasels. Pains of draught 
animals in making urine are ended by a bat put on 
them as an amulet, and bots by a wood-pigeon 
carried three times round their middle. Wonderful 
to relate, the wood-pigeon on being set free dies, 
while the animal is at once freed from pain. 

LI. The eggs of an owl, given for three days in Dmnken- 
wine to drunkards, produce distaste for it. Drunken- "***' etc - 
ness is kept away by taking early the roasted lung 
of sheep. A swallow's beak reduced to ash, beaten 
up with myrrh, and sprinkled on the wine that will 
be drunk, will free drinkers from fear of becoming 
tipsy. This is a discovery of Orus, king of Assyria. 

LII. In addition to all this there are some notable 
things about the animals that belong to this Book : the 
gromphena, a bird spoken of in Sardinia as like a crane, 

37i 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Sardis, ut existimo— in eadem provincia ophion, 
cervis tantum pilo similis nec alibi nascens. idem 
auctores, nomen habere x sirulugum, quod nec quale 
esset animal nec ubi nasceretur tradiderunt. fuisse 
quidem non dubito, cum ct medicinae ex eo sint 
demonstratae. M. Cicero tradit animalia biuros 
vocari qui vites in Campania erodant. 

147 LIII. Reliqua mirabilia ex his quae diximus. non 
latrari a cane membranam e secundis canis habentem 
aut leporis fimum vel pilos tenentem, in culicum 
genere muliones 2 non amplius quam uno die vivere, 
eosque qui arborarii pici rostrum habeant et mella 
eximant ab apibus non attingi, porcos sequi eos a 

148 quibus cerebrum corvi acceperint in offa, pulverem 
in quo se mula volutaverit corpori inspersum mitigare 
ardores amoris. sorices fugare, 3 si unus castratus 
emittatur, anguina pelle et sale et farre et serpyllo 
contritis una deiectisque cum vino in fauces boum uva 
maturescente, toto anno eos valere, vel si hirun- 
dinum pulli tres tribus 4 offis dentur, pulvere e vestigio 
anguium collecto sparsas apes in alvos reverti, 

149 arietis dextro teste praeligato oves tantum gigni, non 
lassescere in ullo labore qui nervos ex alis et cruri- 
bus gruis habeant, mulas non calcitrare cum vinum 
biberint. ungulas tantum mularum repertas, neque 

1 nomen habere E r, Deilefsen : nominavere R d(?) vulg. : 
om. Mayhoff. 

2 Post muliones lacunam indicat Mayhoff. 

3 fugare codd. : fugere Mayhoff. 

4 tres tribus codd. : terni ternis Mayhoff. 

372 



BOOK XXX. lii. 146-Liii. 149 

but now, I think. unknown even to the Sardinians. In 
the same province we have the opkion, a creature 
like deer only in its hair, and found nowhere else. 
The same authorities say that there is a creature 
called sirulugum, but they have not told us what kind 
of an animal it is or where it is found. I do not 
indeed doubt that it once existed, since even 
medicines from it have been prescribed. Marcus 
Cicero tells us that there are animals called biuri 
which gnaw the vines in Campania. 

LIII. There are still some wonders in the animals Wo P^ oi 
that I have mentioned : that a dog does not bark at a 
person having on him the membrane from the after- 
birth of a bitch, or holding the dung or hair of a hare ; 
included among gnats are muliones, which live only 
for a day ; those taking honey from hives are not 
stung by the bees if they have on them the beak of 
a woodpecker; pigs follow those from whom they 
have received in their mash the brain of a raven ; 
the dust in which a she-mule has wallowed, 
sprinkled on the body, lessens the fires of love. 
Shrew mice are put to flight if one of them is 
castrated and let go free ; if a snake's skin, salt, 
emmer wheat, and wild thyme are pounded together 
and with wine poured down the throat of oxen when 
the grapes are ripening, they enjoy good health for 
a whole year, or if three young swallows are given at 
three meals in their mash ; if dust is gathered from 
the track of a snake and sprinkled on bees, these 
return to their hives ; if the right testicle of a ram is 
tied up he begets ewes only ; those are not wearied 
bv any toil who have on them sinews from the wings 
and legs of a crane ; she-mules do not kick if they 
have drunk wine. The hoofs of she-mules are the 

373 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aliam ullam materiam quae non perroderetur a 
veneno Stygis aquae, cum id dandum Alexandro 
Magno Antipater mitteret, memoria dignum est 
magna Aristotelis infamia excogitatum. nunc ad 
aquatilia praevertemur. 



Additional Note to P. 361 

Pliny, XXX, 128: vel mortumua mirum si sine adservala 
transcenderit gravida innoxium fieri si protinus transcendat 
adservatam. A tentative effort towards a solution of this 
passage is given by Warmington as follows. The sentence 
began vel mortuam mirum but was continued, in erratic copy- 
ing, by a wrongly written clause (a) si sine adservata trans- 
cenderit gravida which was then imperfectly corrected into 
another clause (b) si protinus transcendat adservatam written 
in the margin. This marginal correction (b) was later copied 
out in its right place while clause (a) was still retained. It 
is clause (a) which is really corrupt and superfluous, and it 
should be deleted; and the whole passage may then be read: 
vel mortuam mirum innoxiam fieri si protinus adservatam 
transcendat gravida: " Or a dead one, wonderful to relate, 
does no harm if a pregnant woman crosses it if it was preserved 
without delay." Warmington suggests that a scribe began 
writing mirum si sine mora adservatam transcendat instead of 
si protinus a. t. At some later stage the intruded word mora 
was omitted but sine was still left in and adservatam was made 
into an ablative adservata. Thus si protinus transcendat 
adservatam or si protinus adservatam transcendat seems likely 
to be right. Anyhow to retain both clauses (a) and (b) seems 
intolerable; and (a) is more wrong than (b). 



374 



BOOK XXX. liii. 149 

onlv material discovered that is not rotted bv the 
poisonous water of Styx, a a notable fact discovered 
hv Ari^totle. to his great infamv. when Antipater 
sent a draught of it to Alexander the Great. Now 

I will pass to things found in water.'' 



a A ibuntain in Arcadia. 

b Praciicailv the whole of this chapter is in indirect speech, 
to denote the scepticisrn of Pliny. 



575 



BOOK XXXI 



LIBER XXXI 

1 I. Aquatilium secuntur in medicina beneficia, 
opifice natura ne in illis quidem cessante et per undas 
fluctusque ac reciprocos aestus amniumque rapidos 
eursus inprobas exercente vires, nusquam potentia 
maiore, si verum fateri volumus, quippe hoc elemen- 

2 tum ceteris omnibus imperat. terras devorant 
aquae, flammas necant, scandunt in sublime et 
caelum quoque sibi vindicant ac nubium obtentu 
vitalem spiritum strangulant, quae causa fulmina 
elidit, ipso secum discordante mundo. quid esse 
mirabilius potest aquis in caelo stantibus ? at illae, 
ceu parum sit in tantam pervenire altitudinem, 
rapiunt eo secum piscium examina, saepe etiam 
lapides subeuntque portantes aliena pondera. 

3 eaedem cadentes omnium terra enascentium causa x 
fiunt prorsus mirabili natura, si quis velit reputare, ut 
fruges gignantur, arbores fruticesque vivant, in 
caelum migrare aquas animamque etiam herbis 
vitalem inde deferre, victa confessione 2 omnes terrae 

1 causa] Mayhoff (Appendix p. 485) causae coni. 

2 victa confessione dTa r vulg. : confessione victa VR, 
Sillig: iusta confessione Caesarius, Mayhoff: confessione 
invita Urlichs. 

a Or, as such things as salt are included, " creatures of the 
water." 

b Engliah allowa the plural " waters," but not exactly in the 
sense of the Latin aquae. Here it is perhaps safer to use the 
singular in translating. 

37S 



BOOK XXXI 

I. There follow the medicinal benefits obtained Remedies 
from aquatic animals ; a Nature the Creator is not aqwuic 
idle even among them, but puts forth her tireless animaXs - 
strength on waves, billows, ebb and flow of tides, and 
the rapid currents of rivers ; and nowhere with 
greater might, if we will but admit the truth, seeing 
that this element is lord over all the others. Water b 
swallows up the land, destroys flames, climbs aloft 
claiming the sovereignty even of the sky, and by a 
blanket of clouds chokes the life-giving spirit, so 
forcing out thunderbolts, the world waging civil war 
with itself. What can be more wonderful than water 
seated c in the sky ? But as though it were a little 
thing to reach this great height, water sucks up 
thither with itself shoals of fish, and often even stones, 
carrying up aloft a weight other than its own. This 
element also falls again to become the source of all 
things that spring from the earth. Right wonderful 
action this on the part of Nature, if one considers it : 
in order that crops may grow, and that trees and 
shrubs may live, water soars to the sky and brings 
down thence even to plants the breath of life, so we 
are forced d to admit that all the powers of earth too 

c Literally: " standing." 

d " The admission being constrained " is perhaps possible 
Plinian Latin. Of the emendations that of Urlichs seems the 
best, giving much the same sense. 

379 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quoque vires aquarum esse benefieii. quapropter 
ante omnia ipsarum potentiae * exempla ponemus. 
cunctas enim enumerare quis mortalium queat ? 

4 II. Emicant benigne passimque in plurimis terris 
alibi frigidae, alibi calidae, alibi iunctae, sicut in 
Tarbellis Aquitanica gente et in Pvrenaeis montibus 
tenui intervallo discernente, alibi tepidae egelidae- 
que, 2 auxilia morborum profitentes et e cunctis 
animalibus hominum tantum causa erumpentes. 
augent numerum deorum nominibus variis urbesque 
condunt, sicut Puteolos in Campania, Statiellas in 
Liguria. Sextias in Narbonensi provintia, nusquam 
tamen largius quam in Baiano sinu nec pluribus 

5 auxiliandi generibus, aliae sulpuris vi, aliae aluminis, 
aliae salis, aliae nitri, aliae bituminis, nonnullae 
etiam acida salsave mixtura. vapore ipso aliquae 
prosunt tantaque est vis, ut balneas calefaciant ac 
frigidam etiam in solis fervere cogant. quae in Baiano 
Posidianae vocantur nomine accepto a Claudii 
Caesaris liberto obsonia quoque percocunt. vaporant 
et in mari ipso quae Licinii Crassi fuere, mediosque 
inter fluctus existit aliquid valetudini salutare. 

III. Iam generatim nervis prosunt pedibusve aut 

6 coxendicibus, aliae luxatis fractisve, inaniunt alvos, 
sanant vulnera. capiti, auribus privatim medentur, 

1 potentiae R vulg., Mayhoff: potentia ceteri codd., 
Detlefsen. 

2 egelidaeque codd. (aut gelidaequae) Detlefsen: egelidae 
atque Mayhoff. 



a The word vis is hard to translate, as it sometimes com- 
bines the sense of " power," " quality," and " magical 

380 



BOOK XXXI. i. viii. 6 



are part of the beneficence of water. Wherefore I 
shall first of all give examples of the might of water, 
for what mortal man could count them all ? 

II. Evervwhere in many lands gush forth benefi- Various 
cent waters, here cold, there hot, there both. as theirmriws 
among the Tarbelli, an Aquitanian tribe, and in the tfwo*****»- 
Pyrenees, with only a short distance separating the 

two, in some places tepid and lukewarm, promising 
relief to the sick and bursting forth to help only men 
of all the animals. Water adds to the number of the 
gods by its various names, and founds cities, such as 
Puteoli in Campania, Statiellae in Liguria, and 
Sextiae in the province of Xarbonensis. Nowhere 
however is water more bountiful than in the Bay of 
Baiae, or with more variety of relief: some has the 
virtue a of sulphur, some of alum, some of salt, some 
of soda, some of bitumen, some are even acid and salt 
in combination ; of some the mere steam is beneficial, 
of which the power a is so great that it heats baths and 
even makes cold water boil in the tubs. The water 
called Posidian in the region of Baiae, getting its 
name from a freedman of Claudius Caesar, cooks 
thoroughly even meat. In the sea itself too, steam 
rises from the water that belonged to Licinius 
Crassus, and there comes something valuable to 
health in the very midst of the billows. 

III. To come now to the classes of water : some ciasses of 
waters are good for sinews b or feet, or for sciatica ; lcater ' 
others for dislocations or fractures ; they purge the 
bowels ; heal wounds ; are specific for head, or for 



property." In § 3 vires seems to be, not " strength *' but 

rves. 

33i 



powers. 

6 The Latin nervus includes tendons, ligaraents, and nerves. 
It is used of all fibrous tissues or merabranes. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

oculis vero Ciceronianae. dignum x memoratu, villa 
est ab Averno lacu Puteolos tendentibus inposita 
litori, celebrata porticu ac nemore, quam vocabat 
M. Cicero Academiam ab exemplo Athenarum ; ibi 
compositis voluminibus eiusdem nominis, in qua et 
moiiumenta sibi instauraverat, ceu vero non in toto 

7 terrarum orbe fecisset. huius in parte prima exiguo 
post obitum ipsius Antistio Yetere possidente 
eruperunt fontes calidi perquam salubres oculis, 
celebrati carmine Laureae Tulli, qui fuit e libertis 
eius, ut protinus noscatur etiam ministeriorum 
haustus ex illa maiestate ingenii. ponam enim ipsum 
carmen, ubique et non ibi tantum legi dignum. 2 

8 Quo tua, Romanae vindex clarissime linguae, 

silva loco melius surgere iussa viret 
atque Academiae celebratam nomine villam 

nunc reparat cultu sub potiore Yetus, 
hoc etiam apparent lymphae non ante repertae 

languida quae infuso lumina rore levant. 
nimirum locus ipse sui Ciceronis honori 

hoc dedit, hac fontes cum patefecit ope. 
ut, quoniam totum legitur sine fme per orbem, 

sint plures oculis quae medeantur aquae. 

IY. In eadem Campaniae regione Sinuessanae 
aquae sterilitatem feminarum et virorum insaniam 

9 abolere produntur, V. in Aenaria insula calculosis 
mederi, et quae vocatur Acidula ab Teano Sidicino 

1 dignum Mayhoff: dignae (cum antecedentibus) Detlefsen: 
digno, dignu, digna codd. 

2 dignum Brakman: del. Detlefsen: queat Mayhoff, add. 
ut ante ubique. l\dg. dignum ubique, et non ibi tantum 
legi. 

382 



BOOK XXXI. iii. 6-v. 9 

ears ; while the Ciceronian are so for the eyes. It 
is worth while recording that there is a country seat 
on the coast as you go from Lake Avernus to Puteoli, 
with a famous portico and grove, whieh M. Cicero, 
copving Athens, called Academia. There he wrote 
the volumes called Academica, and in it he also 
erected memorials to himself, as though indeed he 
had not done so throughout the whole world. In the 
front part of this estate, when the owner was Antistius 
Vetus, a short time after Cicero's demise there burst 
out hot springs, very beneficial for eye complaints, 
which have been made famous by a poem of Laurea 
Tullus, who was one of Cicero's freedmen. From it 
we at once realize that even his servants drew inspira- 
tion from that mighty genius. For I will quote the 
actual poem, which deserves to be read, not only on 
this site, but everywhere. 

" O famous champion of our Latin tongue, where 
grows with a fairer green the grove you bade rise, 
and the villa, honoured by the name of Academe, 
Yetus keeps in repair under a more careful tendance, 
here are also to be seen waters not revealed before, 
which with drops infused relieve wearied eyes. For 
indeed the site itself gave this gift as an honour to 
Cicero its master, when it disclosed springs with this 
healing power, so that, since he is read throughout 
the whole world, there may be more waters to give 
sight to eyes." 

IV. In Campania too are the waters of Sinuessa, 
which are said to cure barrenness in women and 
insanity in men. V. The waters in the island of 
Aenaria are said to cure stone in the bladder, as does 
also the water called Acidula — it is a cold one — four 

3&3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

TTTT p. haec frigida, item in Stabiano quae Dimidia 
vocatur, et in Yenafrano ex fonte Acidulo. idem con- 
tingit in Yelino lacu potantibus, item in Syriae fonte 
iuxta Taurum montem auctor est M. Yarro et in 
Phrygiae Gallo flumine Callimachus. sed ibi in 
potando necessarius modus, ne lymphatos agat, quod 
in Aethiopia accidere his qui e fonte Rubro biberint 
Ctesias scribit. 

10 VI. Iuxta Romam Albulae aquae volneribus 
medentur, egelidae hae, sed Cutiliae in Sabinis 
gelidissimae suctu quodam corpora invadunt, ut prope 
morsus videri possit, aptissimae stomacho, nervis, 
universo corpori. 

VII. Thespiarum fons conceptus mulieribus re- 
praesentat, item in Arcadia flumen Elatum. custodit 
autem fetum Linus fons in eadem Arcadia abortusque 
fieri non patitur. e diverso in Pyrrha flumen quod 
Aphrodisium vocatur steriles facit. 

11 VIII. Lacu Alphio vitiligines tolli Yarro auctor est, 
Titiumque praetura functum marmorei signi faciem 
habuisse propter id vitium. Cydnus Ciliciae amnis 
podagricis medetur, sicut apparet epistula Cassi 
Parmensis ad M. Antonium. contra aquarum culpa 

12 in Troezene omnium pedes vitia sentiunt. Tungri 
civitas Galliae fontem habet insignem plurimis bullis 
stillantem, ferruginei saporis, quod ipsum non nisi in 
fine potus intellegitur. purgat hic corpora, tertianas 
febres discutit calculorumque vitia. eadem aqua igne 

384 



BOOK XXXI. v. 9-viii. 12 

miles from Teanum Sidicinum. that at Stabiae called 
Dimidia, and the water of Venafrum from the spring 
Acidulus. The same result comes from drinking the 
water of Lake Velia, also of the Syrian spring near 
Mount Taurus, according to Marcus Varro, and of the 
Phrygian river Gallus, according to Callimachus. But 
here moderation is necessary in drinking lest it drive 
people to madness, which Ctesias writes those suffer 
from who drink of the Red Spring in Aethiopia. 

VI. Near Rome the waters of Albula heal wounds. 
These are lukewarm, but those of Cutilia of the 
Sabines are very cold, penetrating the body with a 
sort of suction, so that they might seem almost to 
bite, being very healthful to the stomach, the sinews, 
and the whole body. 

VII. The spring at Thespiae causes women to con- 
ceive, as does the river Elatum in Arcadia, and the 
spring Linus, also in Arcadia, guards the embryo and 
prevents miscarriage. The river in Pyrrha, on the con- 
trary, that is called Aphrodisium, causes barrenness. 

VIII. The water of Lake Alphius removes 
psoriasis, Varro tells us, adding that Titius, an 
ex-praetor, as a result of this complaint had a face 
like that of a marble statue. The Cydnus, a river of 
Cilicia, cures gout, as appears from a letter of Cassius 
of Parma to M, Antonius. On the other hand, it is 
the fault of the water in Troezen that everyone there 
suffers from diseases of the feet. The Tungri, a 
state of Gaul, has a remarkable spring that sparkles 
with innumerable bubbles, with a taste of iron rust, 
which yet cannot be detected until the water has 
been drunk. It is a purgative, and cures tertian 
agues and stone in the bladder. This water also, 
if fire is brought near it, becomes turbid, and 

385 

VOL. VIII. O 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

admoto turbida fit ac postremo rubescit. Leueogaei 
fontes inter Puteolos et Neapolim oculis et vulneribus 
medentur. Cicero in admirandis posuit Reatinis 
tantum paludibus ungulas iumentorum indurari. 

13 IX. Eudicus in Hestiaeotide fontes duos tradit 
esse, Ceronam ex quo bibentes oves nigras fieri, Nelea 
ex quo albas, ex utroque varias, Theophrastus 
Thuriis Crathim candorem facere, Sybarim nigritiam 

14 bubus ac pecori, X. quin et homines sentire differ- 
cntiam eam ; nam qui e Sybari bibant nigriores esse 
durioresque et crispo capillo, qui e Crathi candidos 
mollioresque ac porrecta coma. item in Macedonia 
qui velint sibi candida nasci ad Haliacmonem ducere, 
qui nigra aut fusca ad Axium. idem omnia fusca 
nasci quibusdam in locis dicit et fruges quoque, sicut 
in Messapis, at in Lusis Arcadiae quodam fonte 
mures terrestres vivere et conversari. Erythris 
Aleos amnis pilos gignit in corporibus. 

15 XI. In Boeotia ad Trophonium deum iuxta flumen 
Hercynnum x e duobus fontibus alter memoriam alter 
oblivionem adfert, inde nominibus inventis. 

XII. In Cilicia apud oppidum Cescum rivus fluit 
Nuus, ex quo bibentium subtiliores sensus fieri M. 
Varro tradit, at in Cea insula fontem esse quo hebetes 
fiant, Zamae in Africa ex quo canorae voces. 

1 Hercynnum Sillig: varia codd. 



a Tho Greek names are referred to. 
b The Greek vovs means " intelligence.' 



386 



BOOK XXXI. viii. 12-xii. 15 

finally turns red. White Earth Springs, between 
Puteoli and Xaples, is good for complaints of the 
eyes and for wounds. Cicero in his Book of Marvels 
alleges that only by marsh water of Ileate are the 
hoofs of draught cattle hardened. 

IX. Eudicus tells us that in Hestiaeotis are two 
springs : Cerona, which makes black the sheep that 
drink of it, and Neleus, which makes them white. 
while they are mottled if they drink of each. Theo- 
phrastus says that at Thurii the Crathis makes oxen 
and sheep white, and the Sybaris makes them black. 
X. He adds that men too are affected by this differ- 
ence : that those who drink of the Svbaris are 
darker and more hardy? and with curly hair, while 
those who drink of the Crathis are fair, softer, and 
with straight hair. He also says that in Macedonia 
those who wish white young to be born lead their 
beasts to the Haliacmon, but to the Axius if they 
wish the young to be black or dark. The same 
authority adds that in certain places all produce grows 
to be dark, even grain and vegetables, as among the 
Messapii, and that in a certain spring at Lusi in 
Arcadia land mice live and dwell. At Erythrae the 
river Axios makes hair grow on the body. 

XI. In Boeotia by the temple of Trophonius near 
the river Hercynnus are two springs ; one brings 
remembrance, the other forgetfulness ; hence the 
names ° that have been given them. 

XII. In Cilicia near the town Cescum flows the 
river Nuus. & Those that drink of it become, says 
Marcus Varro, of keener perception, but on the 
island of Cea there is a spring that makes men dull, 
and at Zama in Africa is one that gives the drinkers 
a tuneful voice. 

387 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

16 XIII. Vinum taedio venire his qui ex Clitorio lacu 
biberint ait Eudoxus, set Theopompus inebriari fonti- 
bus his quos diximus, Mucianus Andri e fonte Liberi 
patris statis diebus septenis eius dei vinum fluere, si 
auferatur e conspectu templi, sapore in aquam trans- 

17 eunte, XIV. Polyclitus ex * Lipari iuxta Solos 
Ciliciae ungui, Theophrastus, hoc idem in Aethiopia 
eiusdem nominis fonte, Lycos in Indis 2 Oratis fontem 
esse cuius aqua lucernae luceant. idem Ecbatanis 
traditur. Theopompus in Scotussaeis lacum esse 

18 dicit qui volneribus medeatur, 3 XV. Iuba in Trogo- 
dytis lacum Insanum malefica vi appellatum ter die 
fieri amarum salsumque ac deinde dulcem, totiensque 
et noctu, scatentem albis serpentibus vicenum cubi- 
torum, idem in Arabia fontem exilire tanta vi ut 

19 nullum non pondus inpactum respuat, XVI. Theo- 
phrastus Marsyae fontem in Phrygia ad Celaenarum 
oppidum saxa egerere. non procul ab eo duo sunt 
fontes Claeon et Gelon ab effectu Graecorum 
nominum dicti. Cyzici fons Cupidinis vocatur ex 
quo potantes amorem deponere Mucianus credit. 

20 XVII. Crannone est fons calidus citra summum 
fervorem, qui vino addito triduo calorem potionis 

1 ex Lipari Detlefsen: Lipari Urlichs: expleri codd. 

2 in Indis Mayhoff: Indis Detlefsen: varia codd. 

3 medeatur C. F. W. Muller: medetur codd. 



a Book II. § 230. 

b " The oily river." 

r Por these people see Book VI. § 75. 

388 



BOOK XXXI. xm. 16-xvn. 20 

XIII. Disgust at wine, says Eudoxus, comes upon 
those who have drunk of Lake Clitorius, but Theo- 
pompus says that drunkenness is caused by the 
springs that I have mentioned, and Mucianus that 
at Andros, from the spring of Father Liber, on fixed 
seven-day festivals of this god, flows wine, but if its 
water is carried out of sight of the temple the taste 
turns to that of water. XIV. Polyclitus says that 
with the river Liparis b near Soli in Cilicia people are 
anointed, Theophrastus says this of a spring with the 
same name in Aethiopia, and Lycos that among the 
Oratae c of India is a spring the water of which 
keeps lamps burning bright. The same is said of 
one at Ecbatana. Theopompus says that among the 
people of Scotussa is a lake that heals wounds. Juba 
says that among the Trogodytae is a lake called 
Insanus, * so named from its evil character, for three 
times each day and three times each night it becomes 
bitter, and then again fresh, full of white serpents 
twenty cubits long ; he also says that in Arabia is a 
spring that bursts forth with such violence that it 
throws out everything, no matter how heavy, that is 
heaved into it. XVI. Theophrastus tells us that a 
spring of Marsyas in Phygia, near the town of 
Celaenae, casts out rocks. Not far from it are two 
springs, named Claeon and Gelon, so called from the 
force of their Greek e names. A spring at Cyzicus 
is called Cupid's Spring; those who drink of it, 
Mucianus believes, lose their amorous desires. 

XVII. In Crannon is a hot spring which just falls 
short of boiling, the water of which with wine added 
remains in vessels a hot drink for three days. There 

d " The lake of Madness." 

e " Weeping " and " Laughing." 

389 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

custodit in vasis. sunt et Mattiaci in Germania 
fontes calidi trans Rhenuni, quorum haustus triduo 
fervet. circa margines vero pumicem faciunt aquae. 

21 XVIII. Quod si quis fide carere ex his aliqua 
arbitratur, discat in nulla parte naturae maiora esse 
miracula, quamquam inter initia operis abunde multa 
rettulimus. Ctesias tradit Silan * vocari stagnum in 
Indis in quo nihil innatet, omnia mergantur, Coelius 
apud nos in Averno etiam folia subsidere, Yarro aves 
quae advolaverint emori. contra in Africae lacu 

22 Apuscidamo omnia fluitant, nihil mergitur, item in 
Siciliae fonte Phinthia, ut Apion tradit, et in Medo- 
rum lacu puteoque Saturni. item fluvii 2 fons 
Limyrae transire solet in loca vicina portendens 
aliquid, mirumque quod cum piscibus transit. re- 
sponsa ab his petunt incolae cibo, quem rapiunt 
adnuentes, si vero eventum negent, caudis abigunt. 

23 amnis Alcas in Bithynia Bryazum adluit — hoc est 
templo et deo nomen — cuius gurgitem periuri negan- 
tur 3 pati 4 velut nammam urentem. 5 in Cantabria 
fontes Tamarici in auguriis habentur. tres sunt 
octonis pedibus distantes, in unum alveum coeunt 

24 vasto amne. singuli siccantur duodenis diebus, 

1 Silan Mayhoff (Strabo XV. 1, 38): Siden r Sillig. 

2 puteoque Saturni. item fluvii Mayhoff: puteoque. 
Saturni templum Detlefsen: temthuni r: themtumi V: 
themtuni T: templum E. 

3 negantur YRdT Hard., Mayhoff: necantur a Detlefsen: 
notantur Hermolaus Barbarus. 

4 pati YRdT: parthi E: rapti Detlefsen. 

5 flammam urentem codd. : flamma urente I)<tUfsen. 



■ Wiesbaden. h See H. §§224 foU. 

39° 



of many 
waters. 



BOOK XXXI. xvii. 20-xviii. 24 

are also in Germany across the Rhine the hot springs 
of Mattiacum, a a draught from which is boiling hot 
for three days ; around the borders indeed the water 
forms pumice. 

XVIII. But if anybody thinks that some of these Themarvei 
statements are incredible, he has to learn that in no 
sphere does Nature show greater marvels, although 
in the early parts of mv work I have mentioned b 
plenty of examples. Ctesias tells us that there is 
in India standing water called Silas, c in whicli 
nothing floats but everything sinks to the bottom ; 
Coelius says in our Avernus even leaves sink, and 
Varro that the birds that fly to it die. On the other 
hand, in the African lake Apuscidamus everything 
floats and nothing sinks ; similarly in the Sicilian 
spring Phinthia, as Apion tells us, and among the 
Medes in the lake and well of Saturn. Again, the 
source of the river Limyra often crosses to neigh- 
bouring districts, indicating some portent, and a 
wonderful thing is that the fish cross with it. The 
inhabitants seek responses from them, offering food. 
To give a favourable answer the fish snap it up ; but 
for an unfavourable one, they knock it away with 
their tails. The river Alcas in Bithynia flows by 
Bryazus — this is the name both of a god and of his 
temple — the current of which perjured persons are 
said to be unable to endure, as it burns like a flame. 
In Cantabria the springs of the Tamaris are supposed 
to be prophetic. Three in number they are eight 
feet apart, uniting in one channel to form a vast river. 
Each one dries up for periods of twelve, occasionallv 
of twenty days, without the slightest trace of water, 

c A reference to Strabo shows that Mayhoffs conjecture ia 
correct, but Strabo calls the Silas a river. 

39? 



PLINT: NATUUAL HISTORY 

aliquando vicenis, 1 citra suspicionem ullam aquae, 
cum sit vicinus illis fons sine intermissione largus. 
dirum est non profluere eos aspicere volentibus, sicut 
proxime Larcio Licinio legato pro praetore post 
septem dies accidit. In Iudaea rivus sabbatis 
omnibus siccatur. 

25 XIX. E diverso miracula alia dira. Ctesias in 
Armenia fontem esse scribit, ex quo nigros pisces 
ilico mortem adferre in cibis quod et circa Danuvii 
exortum audivi, donec veniatur ad fontem alveo 
adpositum, ubi fmitur id genus piscium ideoque ibi 
caput amnis eius intellegit fama. hoc idem et in 

26 Lydia in stagno Nympharum tradunt. In Arcadia 
ad Pheneum aqua profluit e saxis Styx appellata, 
quae ilico necat, ut diximus, sed esse pisces parvos in 
ea tradit Theophrastus, letales et ipsos, quod non in 

27 alio genere mortiferorum fontium. necari aquis 
Theopompus et in Thracia apud Cychros dicit, Lycos 
in Leontinis tertio die quam quis biberit, Varro ad 
Soracten in fonte, cuius sit latitudo quattuor pedum. 
sole oriente eum exundare ferventi similem, aves quae 
degustaverint iuxta mortuas iacere. namque et 
haec insidiosa conditio est quod quaedam etiam 
blandiuntur aspectu, ut ad Nonacrim Arcadiae. 
omnino enim nulla deterrent qualitate. hanc 
putant nimio frigore esse noxiam, utpote cum pro- 

28 fluens ipsa lapidescat. aliter circa Thessalica Tempe, 
quoniam virus omnibus terrori est, traduntque aena 

1 singuli siccantur duodenis diebus, aliquando vicenis 
Mayhoff: siccantur duodecies singulis diebus, aliquando 
vi.ies Detlefsen: varia codd. 



u Perhaps " black. - ' b Book II. § 231 . 

392 



BOOK XXXI. xvm. 24-xix. 28 

although there is a copious spring near them that 
never dries up. It is an evil portent if those wishing 
to look at them find them not flowing, as recentlv 
Larcius Licinius, a legate pro-praetore discovered 
after seven days. In Judaea is a stream that dries 
up every Sabbath. 

XIX. On the other hand some other marvels are Deadiy 
deadly. Ctesias writes that in Armenia is a spring wc 
in which are dark a fish that. eaten as food, bring 
instant death, as I have heard do the fish also from 
the water around the rising of the Danube, until a 
spring is reached close to the main channel, where 
the fish of this sort go no further. At this point, 
therefore, report says is the real source of that river. 
They tell us that this same phenomenon occurs in 
Lydia in the marsh of the Nymphs. In Arcadia near 
ttie Pheneus there flows from the rocks a stream called 
Stvx, which I have said b proves instantly fatal to life, 
but Theophrastus tells us that in it are small fish 
equally deadly ; no other kind of poisonous spring is 
like this. Theopompus also says that near Cychri in 
Thrace are deadly waters, Lycos that at Leontini is 
water that kills on the third day after drinking, and 
Varro that on Soracte is poisonous water in a spring 
four feet wide. At sunrise, he adds, this bubbles 
out as though it boiled, and birds that have tasted it 
lie dead close by. For certain waters have also this 
insidious property, that the very prospect is attrac- 
tive ; as at Nonacris in Arcadia, which has nothing 
at all about it to serve as a warning. They think 
that this water harms by its excessive cold, seeing 
that as it flows it itself turns to stone. It is other- 
wise around Tempe in Thessaly, for its poison 
is a terror to everyone, and they tell us that by the 

393 



PLINV: XATURAL HISTORY 

etiam ac ferrum erodi illa aqua. profluit, ut indica- 
vimus, brevi spatio, mirumque siliqua silvestris 
amplecti radicibus fontem eum dicitur semper florens 
purpura. et quaedam sui generis herba in labris 
fontis viret. In Macedonia, non procul Euripidis 
poetae sepulchro, duo rivi confluunt. alter salu- 
berrimi potus, alter mortiferi. 

29 XX. In Perperenis fons est quamcumque rigat 
lapideam faciens terram, item calidae aquae in 
Euboeae Adepso. nam quae * adit 2 rivus saxa in 
altitudinem crescunt. in Eurymenis deiectae coro- 
nae in fontem lapideae fiunt. in Colossis flumen est 
quo lateres coniecti lapidei extrahuntur. in Scyre- 
tico metallo arbores quaecumque flumine adluuntur 

30 saxeae fiunt cum ramis. destillantes quoque guttae 
lapide durescunt in antris, conchatis ideo, 3 Miezae in 
Macedonia etiam pendentes in ipsis camaris, at in 
Corinthio 4 cum cecidere, in quibusdam speluncis 
utroque modo, columnasque faciunt, ut in Phausia 
Cherrhonesi adversae Rhodo in antro magno etiam 
discolori aspectu. et hactenus contenti simus ex- 
emplis. 

31 XXI. Quaeritur inter medicos cuius generis aquae 
sint utilissimae. stagnantes pigrasque merito dam- 

1 quae E Detlefsen, Mayhoff: qua plerique codd., Hard. 

2 adit E Mayhoff: cadit plerique codd. Hard.: alluit vulg.: 
adluit Detlefsen. 

3 conchatis Mayhoff, coll. XI. § 270: coricis codd. : Coryciis 
vulg.; fortasse ideo ex lapide est ortinn. 

4 Corinthio R Ianus: Corintio VdTf: coricio E: Corycio 
SiUig, Mayhoff. 



° Book IV. §31. 

b A locus adhuc corruptus says M.tvhoff. I adopt his con- 
jecture with certain doubts, for unless we discard in the next 

394 



BOOK XXXI. xk. 28-xxii 31 

water there even bronze and iron are corroded. It 
rlows, as I have pointed out, a for only a short distance, 
and a marvellous thing is related of this spring : it is 
embraced by the roots of a wild carob always bearing 
purple blossom. And a unique kind of herb flourishes 
on the margins of the spring. In Macedonia, not 
far from the tomb of the poet Euripides, two streams 
join, one very wholesome to drink, the other a deadly 
poison. 

XX. At Perperena is a spring that turns to stone Petrifying 
whatever land it irrigates, as do also the hot waters ^taiaciites 
at Aedepsus in Euboea, for, whatever rocks the and 

r , . .1.1 a -n stalagmdes. 

stream reaches mcrease rn height. At Eurymenae 
chaplets, thrown into a spring, turn to stone. At 
Colossae is a river, and bricks when cast into it are 
of stone when taken out. In Scyros in the mine all 
the trees watered by the river are turned to rock, 
branches and all. Drops too dripping from the stone 
harden in certain caves, and hence these are concave 
in shape. b But at Mieza in Macedonia the drops 
actually hang from the arched roofs, while in the 
Corinthian cave they petrify after falling ; in certain 
caverns the stone forms in both ways and makes pillars, 
as at Phausia in the Chersonesus opposite to Rhodes 
in a huge cave, where the pillars are actually of 
difFerent colours to look at. These examples must be 
enough for the present. 

XXI. It is a question debated by the physicians The most 
what kinds of water are most beneficial. They icatert™ 

sentence a well attested reading Corinthio {-tio) there will be no 
reference to the famous Corycian cavern. It seems just 
possible that an absent-minded scribe repeated lapide (or part 
of it) after Coryciis, and that the vulgate, which omits ideo, is 
correct, or nearly so. 

395 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nant, utiliores quae profluunt existimantes, cursu 
enim percussuque ipso extenuari atque proficere, 
eoque miror cisternarum ab aliquis maxime probari. 
sed hi rationem adferunt, quoniam levissima sit 
imbrium, ut quae subire potuerit ac pendere in aere. 

32 ideo et nives praeferunt, nivibusque etiam glaciem 
velut ad infinitum coacta subtilitate. leviora enim 
haec esse et glaciem multo leviorem aqua. horum sen- 
tentiam refelli interest vitae. in primis enim levitas 
illa deprehendi aliter quam sensu vix potest, nullo 
paene momento ponderis aquis inter se distantibus. 
nec levitatis in pluvia aqua argumentum est subisse 
eam in caelum, cum etiam lapides subire appareat 
cadensque inficiatur halitu terrae, quo fit ut pluviae 
aquae sordium plurimum inesse sentiatur citissime- 

33 que ideo calefiat aqua pluvia. nivem quidem 
glaciemque subtilissimum elementi eius videri miror 
adposito grandinum argumento, e quibus pestilentis- 
simum potum esse convenit. nec vero pauci inter 
ipsos e contrario ex gelu ac nivibus insaluberrimos 
potus praedicant, quoniam exactum sit inde quod 
tenuissimum fuerit. minui certe liquorem omnem 
congelatione deprehenditur et rore nimio scabiem 
fieri, pruina uredinem, cognatis et nivis causis. 

34 pluvias quidem aquas celerrime putrescere convenit 



a The opposite is the truth. 
396 



BOOK XXXI. xxi. 31-34 

rightly condemn stagnant and sluggish waters, 
holding that running water is more beneficial, as it 
is made finer and more healthy by the mere agitation 
of the current. For this reason I am surprised that 
some physicians recommend highly water from 
cisterns. But these physicians put forward a reason ; 
the lightest water, they say, is rain-water, seeing that 
it has been able to rise and to be suspended in the 
atmosphere. Therefore they also prefer snow and 
ice even more than snow, as though its texture w r ere 
rarefied to the utmost ; for, they say, snow and ice 
are lighter than water, and ice much lighter. To 
refute this view is a matter that is important to all 
men. For first of all, this lightness of water can be 
discovered with difficulty except by sensation, as 
the kinds of water differ practically nothing in 
weight. Nor is it proof of the lightness of rain water 
that it rose to the sky, since even stones are seen to do 
the same, and as it falls it is infected with exhalations 
from the earth. Hence it comes about that rain- 
water is found to be full of dirt, for which reason this 
water becomes hot very quickly. That snow indeed 
and ice should be considered the finest form of that 
element makes me wonder, when I have before me 
the evidence of hailstones, to drink the water of 
which it is agreed is most unwholesome. Xot a few 
phvsicians however themselves maintain that hail 
and snow on the contrary make very unhealthy drink, 
since there has been taken from it what was its 
thinnest part. Certainly it is found that every 
liquid becomes smaller when frozen,° that too much 
dew brings blight, and hoar frost blast, effects caused 
by snow also being akin. Rain-water, it is agreed, 
becomes putrid very quickly, and it is the worst 

397 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

minimeque durare in navigatione. Epigenes autem 
aquam quae septies putrefracta purgata sit tradit * 
amplius non putrescere. nam cisternas etiam medici 
confitentur inutiles alvo duritia faucibusque, etiam 
limi non aliis inesse plus aut animalium quae faciunt 

35 taedium. at iidem 2 confitendum habent nec statim 
amnium utilissimas esse, sicuti nec torrentium ullius, 
lacusque plurimos salubres. quaenam igitur et cuius 
generis aptissimae ? aliae alibi. Parthorum reges 
ex Choaspe et Eulaeo tantum bibunt, hae quamvis in 
longinqua comitantur illos. sed horum placere non 
quia sint amnes apparet, quoniam neque e Tigri neque 
Euphrate, neque e multis aliis bibunt. 

36 XXII. Limus aquarum vitium est. si tamen idem 
amnis anguillis scateat, salubritatis indicium habetur, 
sicuti frigoris taeneas in fonte gigni. ante omnia 
autem damnantur amarae et quae sorbentem statim 
implent, quod evenit Trozene. nam nitrosas atque 
salmacidas in desertis Rubrum mare petentes addita 
polenta utiles intra duas horas faciunt ipsaque vescun- 
tur polenta. damnantur in primis quae fonte 
caenum faciunt quaeque malum colorem bibentibus, 
refert et si vasa aerea inficiunt aut si legumina tarde 
percocunt, si liquatae lentiter 3 terram relinquunt 

37 decoctaeque crassis obducunt vasa crustis. est 
etiamnum vitium non fetidae modo verum omnino 
quicquam resipientis, iucundum sit illud licet gratum- 

1 tradit coni. Mayhoff: perhibet R (?) Detlefsen, " contra 
Plinii usum " (Mayhoff). 

2 at iidem coni. Mayhoff, item scribit; om. codd. et Detlefsen. 

3 lente coni. Warmington. 

398 



BOOK XXXI. xxi. 34-xxii. 37 

water to stand a voyage. Epigenes, however, says 
that water whieh has become putrid and been purified 
seven times becomes putrid no more. But cistern 
water even physicians admit is harmful to the bowels 
and throat because of its hardness, and no other 
water contains more slime or disgusting insects. Yet 
it must be admitted, they hold, that river water is not 
ipso facio the most wholesome, nor yet that of any 
torrent whatsoever, while there are very many lakes 
that are wholesome. What water then, and of what 
kind, is the best ? It varies with the locality. The 
kings of Parthia drink only of the Choaspes and the 
Eulaeus ; water from these rivers is taken with them 
even into distant regions. But it is clear that 
the water of these rivers does not fmd favour just 
because they are rivers, for the kings do not drink 
from the Tigris, Euphrates, or many other rivers. 

XXII. Slime in water is bad. If however the same 
river is full of eels, it is held to be a sign of whole- 
someness, as it is of coldness for worms to breed in a 
spring. But before all are condemned bitter waters, 
and those that give a full feeling immediately after 
drinking, as does the water at Troezen. But the 
nitrous and salty-acid streams that in the desert 
flow to the Red Sea are made sweet within two hours 
if pearl barley is added, and the barley itself they 
eat. Especially are condemned waters that have mud 
at their source, and those that give a bad colour 
to those who drink of them. It also makes a difference 
if water stains bronze vessels, or if it cooks greens 
slowlv, if when gently filtered out it leaves a sediment 
of earth, or when boiled thickly encrusts the vessel. 
Not only too is fetid water bad, but also that which 
tastes of anything at all, though the taste may be 

399 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

que et ut saepe ad viciniam lactis accedens. aquam 
^alubrem aeris quam simillimam esse oportet. unus 
in toto orbe traditur fons aquae iucunde olentis in 
Mesopotamia Chabura. fabulae rationem adferunt, 
quoniam eo luno perfusa sit. de cetero aquarum 
salubrium sapor odorve nullus esse debet. 

38 XXIII. Quidam statera iudicant de salubritate, 
frustrante diligentia, quando perrarum est ut levior 
sit aliqua. certior subtilitas inter pares meliorem 
esse quae calefiat refrigereturque celerius. quin et 
haustam vasis, t ne manus pendeant, 1 depositisque t 
in humum tepescere adfirmant. ex quonam ergo 
genere maxime probabilis continget? puteis nimi- 
rum, ut in oppidis video constare, sed his quibus et 
exercitationis ratio crebro haustu contingit et illa 

39 tenuitas colante terra. salubritati haec satis sunt. 
frigori et opacitas necessaria utque caelum videant. 
super omnia una observatio — eadem et ad perennita- 
tem pertinet — ut illa e vado exiliat vena, non e lateri- 
bus. nam ut tactu gelida sit etiam arte contingit, si 
expressa in altum aut e sublimi deiecta verberatum 
corripiat aera. in natando quidem spiritum con- 

40 tinentibus frigidior sentitur eadem. Neronis principis 

1 ne manus pendeant codd. : ne manus suspendant Detlefsen: 
ne manu pendeant Mayhoff, qui post vasis add. portatis. 



° See Additional Note F. 
400 



BOOK XXXI. xxii. 37-xxiii. 40 

pleasant and agreeable, or, as often happens, 
approaching that of milk. Wholesome water ought 
to be verv like air. In the whole world one spring of 
water only is said to have a pleasant smell, and that 
is at Chabura in Mesopotamia; a reason is sought 
in the legend that with it Juno was bathed. Apart 
from this wholesome water should have no sort of 
taste or smell. 

XXIII. Some judge the wholesomeness of water 
by means of the balance. This is wasted carefulness, 
for it is verv rare for one water to be lighter than 
another. A more reliable and a delicate test is that, 
other things being equal, a water is better that be- 
comes warm and cool more quickly. Moreover we are 
told that if drawn in vessels [without being weighed, 
or without being warmed by the hand] ° and placed 
on the ground, the better water becomes warm. 
From what source then shall we obtain the most 
commendable water ? From wells surely, as I see 
they are generally used in towns, but they should be 
those the water of which by frequent withdrawals is 
kept in constant motion, and those where due thin- 
ness is obtained by filtering through the earth. For 
wholesomeness so much suffices ; for coolness both 
shade is necessary and that the well should be open 
to the air. One point above all must be observed — 
and this is also important for a continuous flow — well 
water should issue from the bottom, not the sides. 
But coolness to the touch can also be obtained arti- 
ficially, if the water is forced aloft or let fall from a 
height, beating and absorbing the air. In swimming 
indeed the same water is felt to be cooler by those 
who hold their breath. It was a discovery of the 
Emperor Nero to boil water and cool it in a glass 

401 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inventum est deeoquere aquam vitroque demissam in 
nives refrigerare. ita voluptas frigoris contingit sine 
vitiis nivis. omnem utique decoctam utiliorem esse 
convenit, item calefactam magis refrigerari, subti- 
lissimo invento. vitiosae aquae remedium est, si 
decoquatur ad dimidias partes. aqua frigida ingesta 
sistitur sanguis. aestus in balneis arcetur, si quis ore 
teneat. quae sint haustu frigidissimae non perinde 
et tactu esse, alternante hoc bono, multi familiari 
exemplo colligunt. 

41 XXIV. Clarissima aquarum omnium in toto orbe 
frigoris salubritatisque palma praeconio urbis Marcia 
est inter reliqua deum munera urbi tributa. voca- 
batur haec quondam Aufeia, fons autem ipse Pitonia. 
oritur in ultimis montibus Paelignorum, transit Mar- 
sos et Fucinum lacum, Romam non dubie petens. 
mox in specus mersa in Tiburtina se aperit novem 
milibus passuum fornicibus structis perducta. primus 
eam in urbem ducere auspicatus est Ancus Marcius 
unus e regibus, postea Q. Marcius Rex in praetura, 
rursusque restituit M. Agrippa. 

42 XXV. Idem et Yirginem adduxit ab octavi lapidis 
diverticulo duo milia passuum Praenestina via. iuxta 
est Herculaneus rivus, quem refugiens Virginis 
nomen obtinuit. horum amnium comparatione 
differentia supra dicta deprehenditur, cum quantum 
402 



BOOK XXXI. xxiii. 40-xxv. 42 

vessel by thrusting it into snow. In this way is 
obtained a pleasant coolness without the injurious 
qualities of snow. At any rate it is agreed that all 
water is more serviceable when boiled, and that 
water which has been heated can be cooled to a 
greater degree — a most clever discovery. It purifies 
bad water to boil it down to one half. Cold water 
taken internally checks bleeding, and to hold it in 
the mouth prevents overheating in the bath. Water 
that is very cold to swallow is not always so to the 
touch ; this good quality alternates, as many find 
out by personal experience. 

XXIV. The first prize for the coolest and most 
wholesome water in the whole world has been 
awarded by the voice of Rome to the Aqua Marcia, 
one of the gods' gifts to our city. This was once 
called the Aqua Aufeia, and the source itself Aqua 
Pitonia. It rises at the extreme end of the Paelig- 
nian range, crosses the country of the Marsi and the 
Fucine lake, plainly making straight for Rome. Next 
it sinks into the underground caves near Tibur, 
reappearing and completing its journey of nine more 
miles along an aqueduct. The first to begin the 
bringing of this water to Rome was one of the kings, 
Ancus Marcius ; later, repairs were carried out by 
Quintus Marcius Rex in his praetorship, and again 
by Marcus Agrippa. 

XXV. The same Agrippa also brought the Virgin 
Water to Rome from the bye-road, eight miles away. 
that extends two miles along the road to Praeneste. 
Xearby is the stream of Hercules, and because the 
Virgin Water runs away from this it was so named. 
A comparison of these rivers illustrates the diiference 

a We might say: " and vice versa." 

403 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Yirgo tactu praestet, tantum praestet Marcia haustu, 
quamquam utriusque iam pridem urbi perit voluptas, 
ambitione avaritiaque in villas ac suburbana detor- 
quentibus publicam salutem. 

43 XXYI. Non ab re sit quaerendi aquas iunxisse 
rationem. repperiuntur in convallibus maxime et 
quodam convexitatis cardine aut montium radicibus. 
multi septentrionales ubique partes aquosas existi- 
mavere, qua in re varietatem naturae aperuisse con- 
veniat. in Hyrcanis montibus a meridiano latere non 
pluit, ideo silvigeri ab aquilonis tantum parte sunt. 
at Olympus, Ossa, Parnasus, Appenninus, Alpes 
undique vestiuntur amnibusque perfunduntur, aliqui 
ab austro, sicut in Creta Albi montes. nihil ergo in 
his perpetuae observationis iudicabitur. 

44 XXVII. Aquarum sunt notae iuncus J et herba de 
qua dictum est multumque alicui loco pectore incu- 
bans rana. salix enim erratica et alnus aut vitex aut 
harundo aut hedera sponte proveniunt et conrivatione 
aquae pluviae in locum humiliorem e superioribus 
defluentis, augurio fallaci, certiore multo nebulosa 
exhalatione ante ortum solis longius intuentibns, 
quod quidam ex edito speculantur proni terram 

45 adtingente mento. est et peculiaris aestimatio 
peritis tantum nota, quam ferventissimo aestu secun- 
tur dieique horis ardentissimis, qualis ex quoque loco 
repercussus splendeat. nam si terra sitiente umidior 

1 Post iuncus add. aut harundo codd. Cf. infra. 

a See § 40. 

* This is beehion (tussilago); see XXVI. § 30. 

404 



BOOK XXXI. xxv. 42-xxvii. 45 

mentioned above ; a for the Aqua Marcia is as much 
superior to swallow as the Yirgin is cool to touch. And 
yet Rome has long since lost the delights of each, for 
love of display and greed have diverted these means 
of public health to country seats and suburbs. 

XXVI. It would be pertinent to add the method of water- 
searching for water. It is found mostly in enclosed ' m ing ' 
valleys, and what may be called the hinge of con- 
verging slopes, or at the foot of mountains. Many 
have thought that everywhere the northern are the 
watery slopes. On this matter it would be well to 
point out the variableness of Xature. In the 
Hyrcanian mountains it does not rain on the southern 
slope, and so only on the north side are there woods. 

But Olvmpus, Ossa, Parnassus, the Apennines, and 
the Alps, are everywhere covered with trees and 
watered by rivers ; others are so only on the south 
side, as are the White Mountains in Crete. So m 
this matter there will be no unvarying rule to follow. 

XXVII. Signs of the presence of water are rushes, 
the plant about which I have spoken, 6 and frogs 
squatting on their chest in great numbers for any one 
place. For wild willow, alder, vitex, reed, or ivy, 
which grow spontaneously and where there is a settling 
of rain-water flowing from higher regions to one lower 
down, are deceptive indications ; one much more 
reliable is a misty steam, visible from a distance 
before sunrise, for which some water-finders watch 
from a height, lying prone with their chin touching 
the earth. There is also a special sign, known only 
to experts, which they look for in the hottest season 
and in the most blazing heat of the day, the nature 
of the reflection that shines from each locality. For 
if one spot looks moister while the earth around is 

4° 5 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

»•> < st ille, indubitata spes promittitur. sed tanta 
oculorum intentione opus est ut indolescant. quod 
fugientes ad alia experimenta decurrunt, loco in 
altitudinum pedum quinque defosso ollisque e figlino 
opere crudis aut peruncta pelvi aerea, 1 cooperto, 2 
lucernaque ardente concamarata frondibus, dcin 
terra, si figlinum umidum ruptumve, aut in aere 
sudor vel lucerna sine defectu olei restincta aut etiam 
vellus lanae madidum repperiatur, non dubie 
promittunt aquas. quidam et igni prius excocunt 
locum tanto efficaciore vasorum argumento. 

47 XXVIII. Terra vero ipsa promittit candicantibus 
maculis aut tota glauci coloris. in nigra enim 
scaturigines non fere sunt perennes. figularis creta 
semper adimit spes, nec amplius puteum fodiunt 
coria terrae observantes, ut a nigra descendat ordo 

48 supra dictus. aqua semper dulcis in argillosa terra, 
frigidior in tofo. namque et hic probatur, dulces 
enim levissimasque facit et colando continet sordes. 
sabulum exiles limosasque promittit, glarea incertas 
venas, sed boni saporis, sabulum masculum et harena 
carbunculus certas stabilesque et salubres, rubra 
saxa optimas speique certissimae, radices montium 
saxosae et silex hoc amplius rigentes. oportet autem 

1 Post aerea add. lanae vellere Mayhoff. 

2 Post terra trans. cooperto Detlefsen. 



a Maylioff adds lanae vellere after aerea, comparing passages 
in Vitruvius, Palladius, and Geoponica. The asyndeton is 
awkward, and perhaps Pliny omitted to mention the wool in 
his first list, and when he came across it again in the second 
list, did not think it necessary for the sense to go back and 
add it to the previous clause. 

406 



BOOK XXXI. xxvii. 45-xxviii. 48 

parehing, that is an infallible sign. But so great is 
the necessary strain on the eyes that pain results. To 
avoid this strain they have recourse to other tests. 
They dig a hole to the depth of five feet, covering it 
with jars of unbaked potters' clay, or else with a 
well-oiled bronze basin, and also a burning lamp 
arched over with foliage and earth on top ; if the 
clay is found to be wet or broken, or if moisture covers 
the bronze, or the lamp goes out without any failure 
of oil, or perchance a flock of wool is wet, a then the 
finding of water is assured. Some also light a fire 
first and dry the hole, making yet more conclusive 
the evidence of the vessels. 

XXVIII. The earth however itself guarantees 
water by white spots or by being green all over. For 
in black earth the springs are generally not per- 
manent. Potters' clay always dashes hopes of water, 
and further well-digging ceases when it is observed 
that the earth's strata begin with black and go down 
in the order given above. 6 Water in clay is 
always sweet, but cooler in tufa. For tufa too is 
commended, for it makes water sweet and very light ; 
acting as a strainer it keeps back anv dirt. Loam c 
indicates scanty trickles with slime, gravel inter- 
mittent springs but of a good flavour, male loam d or 
carbunculus-sand e continuous streams, steady and 
wholesome; red rock points to the certain presence 
of excellent water; the rocky bases of mountains, or 
flint, point to the same kind of water, with great 

* Apparently black, white, green. 

c Sabulum, apparently soil containing coarse sand and clay. 
d Sabulum masculum was coarse sabidum. 
e See Varro I. 9, 2; earth so scorched by the sun that roots 
are charred. 

407 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fodienribus umidiores adsidue respondere glaebas 

49 faciliusque ferramenta descendere. depressis puteis 
sulpurata vel aluminosa occurrentia putearios necant. 
experimentum huius periculi est demissa ardens 
lucerna si extinguitur, tunc secundum puteum dextra 
ac sinistra fodiuntur aestuaria quae graviorem illum 
halitum recipiant. fit et sine his vitiis altitudine 
ipsa gravior aer quem emendant adsiduo linteorum 
iactatu eventilando. cum ad aquam ventum est, sine 

50 harenato opus surgit ne venae obstruantur. quae- 
dam aquae vere statim incipiente frigidiores sunt, 
quarum non in alto origo est— hibernis enim constant 
imbribus — quaedam a canis ortu, sicut in Macedoniae 
Pella utrumque. ante oppidum enim incipiente 
aestate frigida est palustris, dein maximo aestu in 
excelsioribus oppidi riget. hoc et in Chio evenit 
simili ratione portus et oppidi. Athenis Enneacrunos 
nimbosa aestate frigidior est quam puteus in Iovis 
horto, at ille siccitatibus riget. maxime autem putei 
circa arcturum non ipsa aestate deficiunt, omnesque 
quatriduo eo subsidunt, iam vero multi hieme tota, ut 

51 circa Olynthum, vere primum aquis redeuntibus. in 
Sicilia quidem circa Messanam et Mylas hieme in 
totum inarescunt fontes, ipsa aestate exundant am- 
nemque faciunt. Apolloniae in Ponto fons iuxta 



a July 19. b About September 17. 

408 



BOOK XXXI. xxviii. 48-51 

coolness in addition. But as the diggers go deeper, 
the clods should prove continually moister, and the 
spades cut down more easily. When wells have been weiu and 
sunk deep, the well-diggers are killed if they meet vcU - di ^- 
with sulphurous or aluminous fumes. A test for 
this danger is to let down a lighted lamp and see if 
it goes out. If it does, vent-holes are sunk at the 
side of the weil, on the right and on the left, to take 
off the oppressive gas. Apart from these injurious 
substances, mere depth makes the air oppressive ; it 
is dissipated by continuous fanning with linen cloths. 
When water has been reached, walls are built from 
the bottom no cement being used lest the springs be 
dammed up. Some water, the source of which is not 
at a height, is cooler right from the beginning of 
spring — for it is made up of winter rain — some is 
cooler after the rising of the Dog-star a ; in Mace- 
donia at Pella are both kinds. For before the town 
there is a marsh stream that is cold at the beginning Cooi waters. 
of summer ; then in the higher parts of the town the 
water is very cold even in the height of summer. A 
similar phenomenon occurs in Chios also, the relative 
position of harbour and town being the same. At 
Athens, Enneacrunos in a cloudy summer is cooler 
than the well in the Garden of Juppiter, while this 
latter is very cold during summer droughts. Wells 
however generally run dry about Arcturus, b not in 
the actual summer, and all sink low during the four 
days of its rising. Moreover many wells fail through- 
out the winter, as those around Olynthus, the water 
returning first in the spring. In Sicily indeed, in the 
region of Messana and Mylae, springs in winter dry 
up altogether, but in the actual summer overflow 
and form rivers. At Apollonia in Pontus a spring 

409 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mare aestate tantum superfluit et maxime circa canis 
ortum, parcius, si frigidior sit aestas. quaedam 
terrae imbribus sicciores fiunt, velut in Narniensi 
agro, quod admirandis suis inseruit M. Cicero, 
siccitate lutum fieri prodens, imbre pulverem. 

r>2 XXIX. Omnis aqua hieme dulcior est, aestate 
minus, autumno minime, minusque per siccitates. 
neque aequalis amnium plerumque gustus est magna 
alvei differentia. quippe tales sunt aquae qualis 
terra per quam fluunt qualesve herbarum quas lavant 
suci. ergo idem amnes parte aliqua repperiuntur 
insalubres. mutant saporem et influentes rivi, ut 
Borysthenen, victique diluuntur. aliqui vero et 
imbre mutantur. ter accidit in Bosporo ut salsi 
deciderent necarentque frumenta, totiens et Nili 
riguapluviae amara fecere magnapestilentia Aegypti. 

53 XXX. Nascuntur fontes decisis plerumque silvis, 
quos arborum alimenta consumebant, sicut in Haemo 
obsidente Gallos Cassandro, cum valli gratia silvas 
cecidissent. plerumque vero damnosi torrentes con- 
rivantur detracta collibus silva continere nimbos ac 
digerere consueta. et coli moverique terram callum- 
que summae cutis solvi aquarum interest. proditur 
certe in Creta expugnato oppido quod vocabatur 
Arcadia cessasse fontes amnesque qui in eo situ multi 
erant rursus condito post sex annos emersisse, ut 
quaeque coepissent partes coli. 



° Or: " disperse ". 

410 



BOOK XXXI. xxviii. 51- xxx. 53 

near the sea is flooded only in summer, and especiallv 
about the rising of the Dog-star, but less so if the 
summer is colder than usual. Certain lands become 
drier in rainy weather, as the region of Xarnia; 
Marcus Cicero included this in his Marvels, saying 
that drought brings mud, and rain dust. 

XXIX. All water is sweeter in winter, in summer Vanetiesof 
less so, in autumn least, and less during droughts. water - 
The taste of rivers is usually variable, owing to the 

great difference in river beds. For waters vary with 
the land over which they flow, and with the juices of 
the plants they wash. Therefore the same rivers are 
found in some parts to be unwholesome. Tribu- 
taries too alter the flavour of a river, as do those of the 
Borysthenes, and being absorbed are diluted. Some 
rivers indeed are also changed by rain. Three times 
it has happened in the Bosphorus that salt rains fell 
and ruined the crops, and three times rains have made 
bitter the inundations of the Xile, a great plague for 
Egypt. 

XXX. Springs arise often when woods have been ^ 
cut down, being used up before as sustenance for the ^/Zate" 
trees ; this happened when Cassander was besieging 
the Gauls after the woods on Mount Haemus had been 
felled by them to make a rampart. Often indeed 
devastating torrents unite when from hills has been 
cut away the wood that used to hold the rains and 
absorb a them. It also improves the water supply for 
the earth to be dug and tilled, and for the hard sur- 
face crust to be broken up. It is at any rate reported 
that in Crete, when a town called Arcadia had been 
stormed, the many springs and rivers of that region 
went dry, and six years afterwards, when the town 
was rebuilt, they reappeared, as each piece of land 



arious 
phenomena 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

54 Terrae quoque motus profundunt sorbentque aquas, 
sicut eirca Pheneum Arcadiae quinquies accidisse 
constat. sic et in Coryco monte amnis erupit poste- 
aque * coeptus est coli. illa mutatio mira, cuius causa 
nulla evidens apparet, sicut in Magnesia e calida facta 
frigida, salis non mutato sapore, et in Caria, ubi 
Neptuni templum est, amnis qui fuerat ante dulcis 

55 mutatus in salem est. et illa miraculi plena, 
Arethusam Syracusis fimum redolere per Olympia, 
verique simile, quoniam Alpheus in eam insulam sub 
maria permeet. Rhodiorum fons in Cherroneso nono 
anno purgamenta egerit. mutantur et colores 
aquarum, sicut Babylone lacus aestate rubras habet 

56 diebus undecim. et Borysthenes statis 2 temporibus 
caeruleus fertur, quamquam omnium aquarum 
tenuissimus, ideoque innatans Hypani, in quo et 
illud mirabile, austris flantibus superiorem Hypanim 
fieri. sed tenuitatis argumentum et aliud est quod 
nullum halitum, non modo nebulam emittit. qui 
volunt diligentes circa haec videri dicunt aquas 
graviores post brumam fieri. 

57 XXXI. Ceterum a fonte duei fictilibus tubis utilissi- 
mum est crassitudine binum digitorum, commissuris 
pyxidatis ita ut superior intret, calce viva ex oleo 

1 posteaque codd.: posteaquam cod. a vulg., Detlcfsen. 

2 statis Mayhoff ex Athen. II. 16: aestatis codd., Detlefsen. 



a With the reading posteaqua?n: " after it came under 
cultivation." 

6 The MSS. reading: " in summer time." Perhaps aestatis 
because a scribe had just written aestate. 

412 



BOOK XXXI. xxx. 54-xxxi. 57 

came under cultivation. Earthquakes too make 
water break out or swallow it up, for example, as is 
well known, around Pheneus in Arcadia this has 
happened five times. Thus too on Mount Corycus 
a river burst out, but afterwards a came to be tilled 
ground. Any change is startling when no obvious 
reason for it is to be seen. In Magnesia for instance 
hot water became cold but its salty flavour remained 
unaltered ; while in Caria, where the temple of 
Neptune is, a river which before had been sweet was 
changed to salt. The following phenomena too are 
very wonderful: the Arethusa at Syracuse smells of 
dung during the Olympian games, a likely thing, for 
the Alpheus crosses to that island under the bed of the 
seas. A spring in the Rhodian Chersonesus pours 
out refuse every ninth year. The colour too of water 
changes, for example at Babylon a lake in summer 
has red water for eleven days, and the Borysthenes at 
fixed intervals & flows c with a blue colour, although 
of all waters it is the thinnest, and for that reason 
flows above the Hypanis. Wherein is another 
marvel : when south winds blow the Hypanis goes 
above. But other evidence for the thinness of the 
Borysthenes is that it gives out no exhalation, not 
to say no mist. Those who wish to be thought careful 
enquirers into these matters say that water becomes 
heavier after the winter solstice. 

XXXI. For the rest, the best way for water to be waterpipes. 
brought from a spring is in earthenware pipes two 
fingers d thick, the joints boxed together so that the 
upper pipe fits into the lower, and smoothed with 
quicklime and oil. The gradient of the water should 



It is less likely that fertur means " is said (to be). 
The digitus was about one inch. 



413 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTOUY 

levigatis. libramentuni aquae in eentenos pedes 
sieilici nrinimum erit, si cuniculo veniet, in binos actus 
lumina esse debebunt. quam surgere in sublime 
opus fuerit plumbo veniat. subit altitudinem exortus 
sui. si longiore tractu veniet, subeat crebro descend- 

58 atque, ne libramenta pereant. flstulas denum pedum 
longitudinis esse legitimum est et si quinariae erunt 
sexagena pondo pendere, si octonariae centena, si 
denariae centena vicena, ac deinde ad has portiones. 
denaria appellatur cuius lamnae latitudo, antequam 
curvetur, digitorum decem est, dimidioque eius 
quinaria. in anfractu omni collis quinariam fieri, ubi 
dometur impetus, necessarium est, item castella, 
prout res exigit. 

59 XXXII. Homerum calidorum fontium mentionem 
non fecisse demiror, cum alioqui lavari calida fre- 
quenter induceret, videlicet quia medicina tunc non 
erat haec quae nunc aquarum perfugio utitur. est 
autem utilis sulpurata nervis, aluminata paralyticis 
aut simili modo solutis, bituminata aut nitrosa, qualis 

60 Cutilia est, bibendo atque purgationibus. plerique 
in gloria ducunt plurimis horis perpeti calorem earum, 
quod est inimicissimum, namque paulo diutius quam 
balineis uti oportet, ac postea frigida dulci, nec sine 
oleo discedentes, quod vulgus alienum arbitratur, 
idcirco non alibi corporibus magis obnoxiis, quippe et 
vastitate odoris capita replentur et frigore infestantur 
sudantia, reliqua corporum parte mersa. similis 



a The actus was 120 feet long. 
b I.e. of sulphur. 

414 



BOOK XXXI. xxxi. 57-xxxii. 60 

be at least a quarter of an inch every hundred feet ; 
should it come in a tunnel, there must be vent holes 
every two actus. a When water is required to form 
a jet, it should come in lead pipes. Water rises as 
high as its source. If it comes from a long distance, 
the pipe should frequently go up and down, so that 
no momentum may be lost. The usual length for a 
piece of piping is ten feet ; five-finger lengths should 
weigh 60 pounds, eight-finger lengths 100 pounds, 
ten-finger lengths 120 pounds, and so on in propor- 
tion. A ten-finger pipe is so called when the breadth 
of the strip before bending is ten fingers, and one 
half as large a five-finger pipe. At every bend of a 
hill where the momentum must be controlled, it is 
necessary to use a five-finger pipe ; reservoirs must 
be made according as circumstances require. 

XXXII. I wonder that Homer made no mention Hot and 
of hot springs, and that though he frequently speaks ^,^,. 
of hot baths, the reason being that modern hydro- 
pathic treatment was not then a part of medicine. 
Sulphur waters, however, are good for the sinews, 
alum waters for paralysis and similar cases of collapse, 
waters containing bitumen and soda, such as that of 
Cutilia, are good for drinking and as a purge. Many 
people make a matter of boasting the great number 
of hours they can endure the heat of these sulphur 
waters — a very injurious practice, for one should 
remain in them a little longer than in the bath, after- 
wards rinse in cool, fresh water, and not go away 
without a rubbing with oil. The common people 
find these details irksome, and so there is no greater 
risk to health than this treatment, because an over- 
powering smell b goes to the head, which sweats and is 
seized with chill, while the rest of the body is im- 

415 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

error, quam plurimo potu gloriantur. vidiquc iam 
turgidos bibendo in tantum ut anuli integerentur 
cute, cum reddi non posset hausta multitudo aquae. 
nec hoc ergo fieri convenit sine crebro salis gustu. 

61 utuntur et caeno fontium ipsorum utiliter, sed ita si 
inlitum sole inarescat. nec vero omnes quae sint 
calidae medicatas esse credendum, sicut in Segesta 
Siciliae, Larisa Troade, 1 Magnesia, Melo, Lipara. 
nec decolor species aeris argentive, ut multi existima- 
verunt, medicaminum argumentum est, quando nihil 
eorum in Patavinis fontibus, ne odoris quidem 
differentia aliqua deprehenditur. 

62 XXXIII. Medendi modus idem et in marinis erit 
quae calefiunt ad nervorum dolores, feruminanda a 
fracturis ossa contusa, item corpora siccanda, qua de 
causa et frigido mari utuntur. praeterea est alius 
usus multiplex, principalis vero navigandi phthisi 
adfectis, ut diximus, aut sanguine egesto, sicut 
proxime Annaeum Gallionem fecisse post consula- 

63 tum meminimus. neque enim Aegyptus propter se 
petitur, sed propter longinquitatem navigandi. quin 
et vomitiones ipsae instabili volutatione commotae 
plurimis morbis capitis, oculorum, pectoris medentur 
omnibusque propter quae helleborum bibitur. aquam 
vero maris per se efficaciorem discutiendis tumoribus 
putant medici, si illa decoquatur hordeacia farina, ad 

1 Inter Larisa et Troade comma multi edd. 

a See XXIV. § 28 and XXVIII. § 54. 
416 



BOOK XXXI. xxxu. 6o-xx\iii. 63 

mersed. Those make a like mistake who boast of the 
great quantity they ean drink. I have seen some 
already swollen with drinking to such an extent that 
their rings were covered by skin, since they could not 
void the vast amount of water they had swallowed. 
So it is not good to drink these waters without a 
frequent taste of salt. The mud too of medicinal 
springs is used with advantage, but the application 
should be dried in the sun. We must not think, how- 
ever, that all hot waters are medicinal ; for there are 
those at Segesta in Sicily, at Larisa in the Troad, at 
Magnesia, in Melos and Lipara. Nor is the discolora- 
tion of bronze or silver a proof, as many have thought. 
of medicinal properties, since there are none in the 
springs of Patavium. Between medicinal and other 
water there is not even a difference of smell to be 
detected. 

XXXIII. The same method of treatment will also Medkmai 
apply to sea water, which is used hot for pains in the ^a^ sea 
sinews, for joining fractured bones, and for bruised 
bones; also for drying the body, in which treatment 
cold sea water is also employed. There are besides 
many other uses, the chief however being a sea voyage 
for those attacked by consumption, as I have said, a 
and for haemoptysis, such as quite recently within 
our memory was taken by Annaeus Gallio after his 
consulship. Egypt is not chosen for its own sake, but 
because of the length of the voyage. Moreover the 
mere sea-sickness caused by rolling and pitching are 
good for very many ailments of the head, eyes, and 
chest, as well as for all complaints for which hellebore 
is given. Sea water indeed by itself physicians think 
to be more efficacious for dispersing tumours, if with it 
a decoction is made of barley meal for parotid swell- 

4i7 

VOL. VIII. P 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

parotidas. emplastris etiam. maxime albis et malag- 

64 matis miscent, prodest et infusa crebro ictu. bibitur 
quoque, quamvis non sine iniuria stomachi, ad pur- 
ganda corpora bilemque atram aut sanguinem con- 
cretum reddendum alterutra parte. quidam et in 
quartanis dedere eam bidendam et in tenesmis 
articulariisque morbis adservatam in hoc, vetustate 
virus deponentem, aliqui decoctam, omnes ex alto 
haustam nullaque dulcium mixtura corruptam, in quo 
usu praecedere vomitum volunt. tunc quoque 

65 acetum aut vinum ea aqua miscent. qui puram 
dedere raphanos supermandi ex mulso aceto iubent, 
ut ad vomitiones revocent. clysteribus quoque 
marinam infundunt tepefactum. testium quidem 
tumorem fovendo non aliud praeferunt, item pernio- 
num vitio ante ulcera, simili modo pruritibus, psoris et 
lichenum curationi. lendes quoque et taetra capitis 
animalia hac curantur. et liventia reducit eadem 
ad colorem. 1 in quibus curationibus post marinam 
aceto calido fovere plurimum prodest. quin et ad 
ictus venenatos salutaris intellegitur, ut phalangi- 
orum et scorpionum, et ptyade aspide respersis, 

66 calida autem in his adsumitur. sufhtur eadem cuni 
aceto capitis doloribus. tormina quoque et choleras 
calida infusa clysteribus sedant. difficilius per- 
frigescunt marina calefacta. mammas sororientes, 
praecordia maciemque corporis piscinae maris corri- 
gunt, aurium gravitatem, capitis dolores cum aceto 
ferventium vapor. rubiginem ferro marinae celer- 

1 colorem Mayhoff: colores codd., contra Plinii usum. 



" White plasters were made with cerussa, white lead. See 
Celsus V. 19, 2. 

418 



BOOK XXXI. xxxiii. 63-66 

ings. It is also an ingredient of plasters, especially 
white plasters, and poultices. It is beneficially 
used too when poured over in frequent douches. It 
is also drunk, though not without harm to the 
stomach, for purging the body and for getting rid of 
black bile or clotted blood by vomit or stool. Some 
have also given it to be drunk in quartan agues, in 
tenesmus, and for diseased joints, keeping it for this 
purpose, for age takes away its injurious qualities. 
Some boil it ; all draw it up out at sea, use it unspoiled 
by anv addition of fresh water, and in using this 
remedy prefer that an emetic should precede the 
draught. Then also they mix with the water vinegar 
or wine. Those who have given it pure, recommend 
to eat afterwards radishes with oxymel to provoke 
further vomiting. Sea water warmed is also injected 
as an enema. Xothing is preferred to it for foment- 
ing swollen testicles, or for bad chilblains before 
ulceration; similarly for itching, psoriasis, and the 
treatment of lichen. Xits too and foul vermin on the 
head are treated with sea water. It also restores the 
natural colour to livid patches. In this treatment it 
is of verv great advantage to foment with hot 
vinegar after the sea water. It is moreover known 
to be healing for poisonous stings, as of spiders and 
scorpions, and for persons wetted by the spittle of 
the asp ptyas, but for these purposes it is employed 
hot. Steam from sea water and vinegar is beneficial 
for headaches. Colic too and cholera are relieved 
by warm enemas of sea water. Things warmed by 
it are harder to cool thoroughly. Swollen breasts, 
the viscera, and emaciation, are rectitied by sea 
baths, deafness and headache by the vapour of 
boiling sea water and vinegar. Sea water removes 

419 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rime exterunt, pecorum quoque scabiem sanant 
lanasque emolliunt. 

67 XXXIV. Nec ignoro haec mediterraneis super- 
vacua videri posse. verum et hoc cura providit in- 
venta ratione qua sibi quisque aquam maris faceret. 
illud in ea ratione mirum, si plus quam sextarius salis 
in quattuor sextarios aquae mergatur, vinci aquam 
salemque non liquari. cetero sextarius salis cum 
quattuor aquae sextariis salsissimi maris vim et 
naturam implet. moderatissimum auteni putant 
supra dictam aquae mensuram octonis cyathis salis 
temperari, quoniam ita et nervos excalefaciat et 
corpus non exasperet. 

68 XXXV. Inveteratur et quod vocant thalassomeli 
aequis portionibus maris, mellis, imbris. ex alto et 
ad hunc usum advehunt fictilique vaso et picato con- 
dunt. prodest ad purgationes maxime sine stomachi 
vexatione et sapore grato et odore. 

69 XXXVI. Hydromeli quoque ex imbre puro cum 
melle temperabatur quondam, quod daretur adpe- 
tentibus vini aegris veluti innocentiore potu, damna- 
tum iam multis annis, isdem vitiis quibus vinum nec 
isdem utilitatibus. 

70 XXXVII. Quia saepe navigantes defectu aquae 
duleislaborant,haec quoque subsidia demonstrabimus. 
expansa circa navem vellera madescunt accepto halitu 
maris, quibus dulcis umor exprimitur, item demissae 
reticulis in mare concavae ex cera pilae vel vasa 

a It is hard to reconcile this remark with the many pre- 
scriptions containing hydromeli (aqita mnha) in Pliny. Per- 
haps there is a reference here to a particular kind of hydromel. 

420 



BOOK XXXI. xxxm. 66-xxxvn. 70 

very quickly rust from iron, heals too scab on sheep, 
and softens vvool. 

XXXIV. I am well aware that to inland dwellers 
these remarks may appear superfluous, but research 
has provided for this also by discovering a method 
whereby every man may make sea water for himself. 
In this method there is one strange feature : if more 
than a sextarius of salt is dropped into four sextarii of 
water, the water is overpowered, and the salt does 
not dissolve. However, a sextarius of salt and four 
sextarii of water give the strength and properties of 
the saltest sea. But it is thought that the most 
reasonable proportion is to compound the measure 
of water given above with eight cyathi of salt. This 
mixture warms the sinews without chafing the skin. 

XXXV. What is called thalassomeli is a mixture, Tiiaiasso- 
kept till old, of sea water, honey, and rain water in m> 
equal proportions. For this purpose too the water is 
brought from out at sea, and the mixture is stored 

in an earthenware vessel lined with pitch. It is good 
especially for purges, does not disturb the stomach, 
and has a pleasant flavour and smell. 

XXXVI. Hydromel too is a mixture once prepared Hydromei. 
from pure rainwater and honey, to be given as a less 
injurious drink to patients who craved for wine. 

It has been condemned now for many years a as having 
all the faults of wine with none of its advantages. 

XXXVII. Because those at sea often suffer from ^resh trater 
the failure of fresh water, I shall describe ways of 
meeting this difficulty. If spread around a ship, 
fleeces become moist by absorption of evaporated 

sea water, and from them can be squeezed water 
which is fresh. Again, hollow wax balls, let down 
into the sea in nets, or empty vessels with their 

421 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inania opturata dulcem intra se colligunt umoivm. 
nain in terra marina aqua argilla pereolata dulcescit. 

71 luxata eorpora et hominum et quadrupedum natando 
in cuius libeat generis aqua facillime in artus redeunt. 
est et in metu peregrinantium ut temptent vali- 
tudinem aquae ignotae. hoc cavent e balneis 
egressi statim frigidam suspectam hauriendo. 

72 XXXYIII. Muscus qui in aqua fuerit podagris in- 
litus prodest, item oleo admixto talorum dolori tumo- 
rique. spuma aquae adfrietu verrucas tollit, nec non 
harena litorum maris, praecipue tenuis et sole can- 
dens, in medicina est siccandis corporibus coopertis 
hydropicorum aut rheumatismos sentientium. et 
hactenus de aquis, nunc de aquatilibus. ordiemur 
autem ut in reliquis a principalibus eorum quae sunt 
salsa ac spongea. 

73 XXXIX. Sal omnis aut fit aut gignitur, utrumque 
pluribus modis, sed causa gemina, coacto umore vel 
siccato. siccatur in lacu Tarentino aestivis solibus, 
totumque stagnum in salem abit, modicum alioqui. 
altitudine genua non excedens. item in Sieilia in lacu 
qui Cocanicus vocatur et alio iuxta Gelam. horum 
extremitates tantum inarescunt, sicut in Phrygia, 
Cappadocia, Aspendi, ubi largius coquitur et usque 
ad medium. aliud etiam in eo mirabile quod tantun- 
dem nocte subvenit quantum die auferas. omnis e 

74 stagnis sal minutus atque non glaeba est. aliud 
genus ex aquis maris sponte gignitur spuma in 
extremis litoribus ac scopulis relicta. hic omnis rore 

422 



BOOK XXXI. xxxvii. 70-xxxix. 74 

mouth sealed, collect fresh water inside. But on 
land sea water is made fresh by flltering through clay. 
Dislocated limbs of both man and quadrupeds are 
very easily re-set by swimming in any kind of 
water. Travellers too are sometimes afraid lest 
unknown water should endanger their health. A 
precaution against this danger is to drink the sus- 
pected water cold immediately on leaving the bath. 

XXXVIII. An application of moss that has grown Mossasa 
in water is good for gout, and mixed with oil for pain- cure ' 
ful and swollen ankles. Rubbing with foam of water 
removes warts, as does also sand of the sea shores, 
especially fine sand whitened by the sun; it is used 

in medicine as a covering for drying the bodies 
of patients suffering from dropsy or catarrhs. So 
much for waters ; now for the products of water. I 
shall begin, as elsewhere, with the chief of them, that 
is, with salts and sponge. 

XXXIX. All salt is artificial or native ; each is Sait, 
formed in several ways, but there are two agencies, andnative 
condensation or drying up of water. It is dried out 

of the Tarentine lake by summer sun, when the whole 
pool turns into salt, although it is always shallow, 
never exceeding knee height, likewise in Sicily from 
a lake, called Cocanicus, and from another near Gela. 
Of these the edges only dry up : in Phrygia, Cappa- 
docia, and at Aspendus, the evaporation is wider, in 
fact right to the centre. There is yet another 
wonderful thing about it: the same amount is 
restored during the night as is taken away during the 
day. All salt from pools is fine powder, and not in 
blocks. Another kind produced from sea water 
spontaneously is foam left on the edge of the shore 
and on rocks. All this is condensation from drift, 

423 



PLINY: NATl TtAL HISTORY 

densatur, et est acrior qui in scopulis invenitur. sunt 
etiamnum naturales ditferentiae tres. namque in 
Bactris duo lacus vasti, alter ad Scythas versus alter 
ad Arios, sale exaestuant, sicut ad Citium in Cypro 
et circa Memphin extrahunt e lacu, dein sole siccant. 

75 sed et summa fluminum densantur in salem amne 
reliquo veluti sub gelu fluente, ut apud Caspias portas 
quae salis flumina appellantur, item circa Mardos et 
Armenios. praeterea et apud Bactros amnis Ochus 
et Oxus ex adpositis montibus deferunt salis ramenta. 

76 sunt et in Africa lacus, et quidem turbidi, salem 
ferentes. ferunt quidem et calidi fontes, sicut 
Pagasaei. et hactenus habent se genera ex aquis 

77 sponte provenientia. sunt et montes nativi salis, ut 
Indis Oromenus, in quo lapicidinarum modo caeditur 
renascens, maiusque regum vectigal ex eo est quam 
ex auro atque margaritis. effoditur e terra, ut palam 
est umore densato, in Cappadocia. ibi quidem caedi- 
tur specularium lapidum modo. pondus magnum 

78 glaebis quas micas vulgus appellat. Gerris Arabiac 
oppido muros domosque e massis salis faciunt aqua 
feruminantes. invenit et iuxta Pelusium Ptolo- 
maeus rex, cum castra faceret. quo exemplo postea 
inter Aegyptum et Arabiam etiam squalentibus locis 
coeptus est inveniri detractis harenis, qualiter et per 
Africae sitientia usque ad Hammonis oraculum, is 

7'.» (juidem crescens cum luna noctibus. nam et Cyre- 

424 



BOOK XXXI. xxxix. 74-79 

and that found on rocks has the sharper taste. There 
are also three different kinds of native salt ; for in 
Bactra are two vast lakes, one facing the Scythians, 
the other the Arii, which exude salt, while at Citium 
in Cyprus and around Memphis salt is taken out of a 
lake and then dried in the sun. But the surface too 
of rivers may condense into salt, the rest of the 
stream flowing as it were under ice, as near the 
Caspian Gates are what are called " rivers of salt," 
also around the Mardi and the Armenians. More- 
over, in Bactria too the rivers Ochus and Oxus bring 
down scrapings of salt from nearby mountains. 
There are also lakes in Africa, and that muddy ones, 
which carry salt. Indeed hot springs too carry it, 
such as those at Pagasae. So much for the different 
kinds of salt which come, as natural products, from 
waters. There are also mountains of natural salt, Blocksait. 
such as Oromenus in India, where it is cut out like 
blocks of stone from a quarry, and ever replaces 
itself, bringing greater revenues to the rajahs than 
those from gold and pearls. It is aiso dug out of 
the earth in Cappadocia, being evidently formed 
by condensation of moisture. Here indeed it is 
split into sheets like mica ; the blocks are very 
heavy, nicknamed by the people " grains." At 
Gerra, a town of Arabia, the walls and houses are 
made of blocks of salt cemented with water. Near 
Pelusium too King Ptolemy found salt when he was 
making a camp. This led afterwards to the discovery 
of salt by digging away the sand even in the rough 
tracts between Egypt and Arabia, as it is also found 
as far as the oracle of Hammon through the parched 
deserts of Africa, where at night it increases as the 
moon waxes. But the region of Cyrenaica too is 

425 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

naici tractus nobilitantur Hammoniaco et ipso, quia 
sub harenis inveniatur, appellato. similis est colore 
alumini quod schiston vocant, longis glaebis neque 
perlucidis, ingrato sapore, sed medicinae utilis. pro- 
batux quam maxime perspicuus, rectis scissuris. 
insigne de eo proditur quod levissimus intra specus 
suos in lucem universam prolatus vix credibili pondere 
ingravescat. causa evidens, cuniculorum spiritu 
madido sic adiuvante molientes ut adiuvant aquae. 
adulteratur Siculo quem Cocanicum appellavimus, 

80 nec non et Cyprio mire simili. in Hispania quoque 
citeriore Egelestae caeditur glaebis paene trans- 
lucentibus cui iam pridem palma a plerisque medicis 
inter omnia salis genera perhibetur. omnis locus in 
quo repperitur sal sterilis est nihilque gignit. et in 

81 totum sponte nascens intra haec est. facticii varia 
genera, volgaris plurimusque in salinis mari adfuso 
non sine aquae * dulcis 2 riguis, sed imbre maxime 
iuvante ac super omnia sole multo, 3 aliter non 
inarescens. Africa circa Uticam construit acervos 
salis ad collium speciem, qui ubi sole lunaque induru- 
ere, nullo umore liquescunt vixque etiam ferro cae- 
duntur. fit tamen et in Creta sine riguis mare in 
salinas infundentibus et circa Aegyptum ipso mari 

1 aquae d : aquis VRE, Mayhoff. 
- dulcis codd. : dulcibus Mayhoff. 

3 Post multo in VR que: Mayhoff multo assiduoque coni., 
multo altoque Brakman. 

° This salt consists of chlorides of sodium, calcium, and 
magnesium. The Greek for " sand " is dfi/xog. 

b I.e. " cleft." 

f See § 73. 

d Brakman's alto would mean " overhead." Mayhoff also 
conjectures lunaque, as just below. 

426 



BOOK XXXI. xxxix. 79-81 

famous for Hammoniac salt, itself so called because 
it is found under the sand. a It is in colour like the 
alum called schiston, b consisting oflong opaque slabs, 
of an unpleasant flavour, but useful in medicine. 
That is most valued which is most transparent and 
splits into straight flakes. A remarkable feature is 
reported of it : of very little weight in its underground 
pits, when brought into the light of day it becomes 
incredibly heavy. The reason is obvious ; the damp 
breath of the pits helps the workers by supporting 
the weight as does water. It is adulterated by the 
Sicilian salt I have said c comes from the lake 
Cocanicus, as well as by Cyprian salt, which is wonder- 
fully like it. In Hither Spain too at Egelesta salt is 
cut into almost transparent blocks ; to this for some 
time past most physicians have given the first place 
among all kinds of salt. Every region in which salt 
is found is barren, and nothing will grow there. To 
speak generally, these remarks about the various 
kinds of native salt are comprehensive. Of artificial Artificiai 
salt there are various kinds. The usual one, and the s ° 
most plentiful, is made in salt pools by running into 
them sea water not without streams of fresh water, 
but rain helps very much, and above all much <warm) d 
sunshine, without which it does not dry out. In 
Africa around L tica are formed heaps of salt like 
hills : when they have hardened under sun and moon, 
they are not melted by any moisture. and even iron 
cuts them with difhculty. It is also however made 
in Crete without fresh water e by letting the sea flow 
into the pools, and around Egypt by the sea itself, 

" K. C. Bailey in Hermathena for 1926 points out that fresh 
water could be profitably used only for washing salt already 
obtained by evaporation. 

427 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

influente in solum, ut credo, Nilo sucosum. fit et 

82 puteis in salinas ingestis. prima densatio Babylone 
in bitumen liquidum cogitur oleo simile, quo et in 
lucernis utuntur. hoc detracto subest sal. et in 
Cappadocia e puteis ac fonte aquam in salinas in- 
gerunt. in Chaonia excocunt aquam ex fonte re- 
frigerandoque salem faciunt inertem nec candidum- 
Galliae Germaniaeque ardentibus lignis aquam 
salsam infundunt. 

83 XL. Hispaniae quadam sui parte e puteis hauriunt 
muriam appellantes. illi quidem et lignum referre 
arbitrantur. quercus optima, ut quae per se cinere 
sincero vim salis reddat, alibi corylus laudatur. ita 
infuso liquore salso arbor x etiam in salem vertitur. 
quicumque ligno confit sal niger est. apud Theo- 
phrastum invenio Umbros harundinis et iunci cinerem 
decoquere aqua solitos donec exiguum superesset 
umoris. quin et e muria salsamentorum recoquitur 
iterumque consumpto liquore ad naturam suam redit, 
vulgo e menis incundissimus. 

84 XLI. Marinorum maxume laudatur Cyprius a 
Salamine, de stagnis Tarentinus ac Phrygius qui 
Tattaeus vocatur. hi duo oculis utiles. e Cappa- 
docia qui in laterculis adfertur cutis nitorem dicitur 

1 arbor E Detlefsen, Mayhoff: carbo ceteri codd., vulg. 



a Mayhoff takes this sentence as part of the last. It may 
be a parenthesis. 

6 The well attested carbo makes good sense, and it bears a 
strong resemblance to arbor. The former is obviously an 
easier reading, so perhaps Detlefsen and Mayhoff have chosen 
the harder. 



428 



BOOK XXXI. xxxix. Si-xli. 84 

which penetrates the soil, soaked as I believe it is, 
by the Nile. Salt is also made by pouring water 
from wells into salt pools. At Babylon the first con- 
densation solidifies into a liquid bitumen like oil, 
which is also used in lamps. When this is taken 
away, salt is underneath. In Cappadocia too they 
bring water into salt pools from wells and a spring. 
In Chaonia there is a spring, from which they boil 
water, and on cooling obtain a salt that is insipid and 
not white. In the provinces of Gaul and Germany 
they pour salt water on burning logs. XL. (In one 
part of the provinces of Spain they draw r the brine 
from wells and call it mima. a ) The former indeed 
think that the wood used also makes a difference. 
The best is oak, for its pure ash by itself has the 
properties of salt ; in some places hazel finds favour. 
So when brine is poured on it even wood 6 turns into 
salt. Whenever wood is used in its making salt is 
dark. I find in Theophrastus that the Umbrians 
were wont to boil down in water the ash of reeds and 
rushes, until only a very little liquid remained. 
Moreover, from the liquor of salted foods salt is 
recovered by reboiling, and when evaporation is 
complete its saline character is regained. It is 
generally thought that the salt obtained from 
sardine brine is the most pleasant. 

XLI. Of sea salt the most in favour comes from Saits from 
Salamis in Cyprus, of pool salt that from Tarentum locaiitLs. 
and that from Phrygia which is called Tattaean. 
The last two are useful for the eyes. The salt 
imported from Cappadocia in little bricks c is said to 
impart a gloss to the skin. But the salt I have said 

e Littre has : " dans des vaisseaux de brique." 

429 



PLIXY: NATUKAL HISTOKY 

facere. magis tamen extendit is quem Citium 
appellavimus, itaque a partu ventrem eo cum melan- 

85 thio inlinunt. salissimus sal qui siccissimus, suavissi- 
mus omnium Tarentmus atque candidissimus est, 1 de 
cetero fragilis qui maxime candidus. pluvia dulcescit 
omnis, suaviorem tamen rores faciunt, sed copiosum 
aquilpnis flatus. austro non nascitur. flos salis non 
fit nisi aquilonibus. in igni nec crepitat nec exilit 
Tragasaeus neque Acanthius ab oppido appellatus, 

86 nec ullius spuma aut 2 ramenta aut tenuis. 3 Agri- 
gentinus ignium patiens ex aqua exilit. 4 sunt 
et colorum differentiae. rubet Memphi, rufus est 
circa Oxum, Centuripis purpureus, circa Gelam in 
eadem Sicilia tanti splendoris ut imaginem recipiat. 
in Cappadocia crocinus effoditur, tralucidus et 
odoratissimus. ad medicinae usus antiqui Taren- 
tinum maxime laudabant, ab hoc quemcumque e 
marinis, ex eo genere spumeum praecipue, iumen- 
torum vero et boum oculis Tragasaeum et Baeticum. 

87 ad opsonium et cibum utilior quisquis facile liquescit, 
item umidior, minorem enim amaritudinem habent, 
ut Atticus et Euboicus. servandis carnibus aptior 
acer et siccus, ut Megaricus. conditur etiam odori- 
bus additis et pulmentarii vicem implet, excitans 
aviditatem invitansque in omnibus cibis ita, ut sit 

1 est Urlichs, Detlefsen: set Mayhoff: et codd. 

2 aut at Er : aut ab Detlefsen : om. at ceterl codd. 

3 ramenta aut tenuis ego : ramento tenuis Detlefsen : rameu- 
tum tenuius Mayhoff: ramento aut tenuis codd. 

1 igiiium patiens ex aqua exilit Detlefsen, Mayhoff, codd. 
ignis impatiens atque exilit A\ C. Bailey. 



a See § 74. 

b See XIII. § 14 and XXXI. § 90. 

c Tragasa and Acanthns. 



43° 



BOOK XXXI. xli. 84-87 

comes from Citium a smooths the skin better, and so 
after child-birth it is applied with melanthium to the 
abdomen. The saltest salt is the driest, the most 
agreeable and whitest of all is the Tarentine ; for the 
rest, it is the whitest that is the most friable. All 
salt is made sweet by rain water, more agreeable, 
however, by dew, but plentiful by gusts of north 
wind. It does not form under a south wind. Flower 
of salt 6 forms only with north winds. Tragasaean 
salt and Acanthian, so named after towns, c neither 
crackles nor sputters in a fire, nor does froth d of any 
salt, or scrapings, or powder. Salt of Agrigentum 
submits to fire and sputters in water. e The colour 
too of salt varies : blushing red at Memphis, tawnv 
red near the Oxus, purple at Centuripae, it is of such 
brightness near Gela (also in Sicily) that it reflects 
an image. In Cappadocia salt is quarried of a 
saffron colour, transparent, and very fragrant. For 
medicinal purposes the ancients used to favour most 
highly Tarentine salt, next, all kinds of sea salt, and 
of these especially that from foam, while for the eyes 
of draught animals and cattle salt of Tragasa and 
Baetica. To season meats and foods the most useful other 
one melts easily and is rather moist, for it is less mntUes - 
bitter, such as that of Attica and Euboea. For 
preserving meat the more suitable salt is sharp and 
dry, like that of Megara. A conserve too is made 
with fragrant additions, which is used as a relish, 
creating and sharpening an appetite for every kind 

d See § 74. 

e K. C. Bailey^s emendation in Hermathena 1926 is con- 
trarv to passages in Isodore (16. 2. 4 and 14. 6. 34), Solinus 
{Polijist. 5. 18), and Augustine {De Civ. Dei 21. 5). He 
suggests that either " Agrigentum salt " was lime, or that a 
mistake occurred in Pliny's MSS. very early. 

431 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

peculiaris ex eo intellectue inter innumera eondi- 
88 menta eiborum item in mandendo quaesitus garo. 1 
quin et pecudes armentaque et iumenta sale maxime 
sollieitantur ad pastus multum largiore lacte multo- 
que gratiore etiam in caseo dote. ergo, Hercules, 
vita humanior sine sale non quit degere, 2 adeoque 
necessarium elementum est uti transierit intellectus 
ad voluptates animi quoque nimias. 3 sales appel- 
lantur, omnisque vitae lepos et summa hilaritas 
laborumque requies non alio magis vocabulo constat. 
80 honoribus etiam militiaeque interponitur salariis 
inde dictis magna apud antiquos auctoritate, sicut 
apparet ex nomine Salariae viae, quoniam illa salem 
in Sabinos portari convenerat. Ancus Marcius rex 
salis modios vi in congiario dedit populis et salinas 
primus instituit. Yarro etiam pulmentarii vice usos 
veteres auctor est, et salem cum pane esitasse eos 
proverbio apparet. maxime tamen in sacris intelle- 
gitur auctoritas, quando nulla conficiuntur sine mola 
salsa. 
90 XLII. Salinarum sinceritas summam fecit suam 
differentiam quandam favillam salis quae levissima 
ex eo est et candidissima. appellatur et flos salis in 
totum diversa res umidiorisque naturae et crocei 
coloris aut rufi, veluti rubigo salis, odore quoque 

1 item in mandendo quaesitus garo Mayhoff: ciborum iu 
mandeudo quaesitus garo Detlefsen : item E 2 a : ita E 1 : 
iterum multi codd. : " locus adhtic corruptus " (Mayhoff). 

2 degere codd. et edd. : degi coni. Mayhoff: degier coni. 
Brakman. 

3 nimias ego: eximias Mayhoff: nimia codd. : del. Detlefsen. 



a The exact text is very uncertain, but the general scnse is 
clear. 

432 



BOOK XXXI. xli. 87-xLii. 90 

of food, so that in innumerable seasonings it is the 
taste of salt that predominates, and it is looked for Vaiueof 
when we eat garum. a Moreover sheep, cattle, and 
draught animals are encouraged to pasture in 
particular by salt ; the supply of milk is much more 
copious, and there is even a far more pleasing quality 
in the cheese. Therefore, Heaven knows, a civilized 
life is impossible without salt, and so necessary is this 
basic substance that its name is applied meta- 
phorically even to intense mental pleasures. We 
call them sales (wit) ; all the humour of life, its 
supreme joyousness, and relaxation after toil, are 
expressed by this word more than by any other. It 
has a place in magistracies also and on service abroad, 
from which comes the term " salary " (salt money) ; it 
had great importance among the men of old, as is 
clear from the name of the Salarian Way, since by it, 
according to agreement, salt was imported to the 
Sabines. King Ancus Marcius gave a largess to the 
people of 6,000 bushels of salt, and was the first to 
construct salt pools. Varro too is our authority that 
the men of old used salt as a relish, and that they ate 
salt with their bread is clear from a proverb. 6 But 
the clearest proof of its importance lies in the fact 
that no sacrifice is carried out without the mola salsa 
(salted meal). 

XLII. Salt-pools have reached their highest de- 
gree of puritv in what may be called embers of salt, 
which is the lightest and whitest of its kind. " Flower 
of salt " is also a name given to an entirely different 
thing, with a moister nature and a saffron or red 
colour, a kind of salt rust ; it has an unpleasant smell, 

6 We do not know the proverb referred to, but several 
suitable ones suggest themselves. 

433 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ingrato ceu gari dissentiens a sale, non modo a spuma. 
Aegyptus invenit, videturque Nilo deferri. et fonti- 

91 bus tamen quibusdam innatat. optimum ex eo quod 
olei quandam pinguitudinem reddit. est enim 
etiam in sale pinguitudo, quod miremur. adulteratur 
autem tinguiturque rubrica aut plerumque testa trita, 
qui fucus aqua deprehenditur diluente faeticium 
colorem, cum verus ille non nisi oleo resolvatur et un- 
guentarii propter colorem eo maxime utantur, 
canitia in vasis summa est, media vero pars umidior. 

92 ut diximus. floris natura aspera, excalfactoria, 
stomacho inutilis, sudorem ciet, alvum solvit in vino 
et aqua, acopis et zmecticis utilis. detrahit et ex 
palpebris pilos. ima faecis concutiuntur, ut croci 
color redeat. praeter haec etiamnum appellatur in 
salinis salsugo, ab aliis salsilago, tota Hquida, a 
marina aqua salsiore vi distans. 

93 XLIII. Aliud etiamnum liquoris exquisiti genus, 
quod garum vocavere, intestinis piscium ceterisque 
quae abicienda essent sale maceratis, ut sit illa putres- 
centium sanies. hoc olim conficiebatur ex pisce 
quem Graeci garon vocabant. capite eius usto suffito 

94 extrahi secundas monstrantes. nunc e scombro pisce 
laudatissimum in Carthaginis Spartariae cetariis — 
sociorum id appellatur — singulis milibus nummum 



a See § 90. This whole chapter is confused. The first 
sentence does not contain the term flos salis, although the et 
of the second sentence implies that it does. This white salt is 
apparently referred to in canitia . . . diximus, a sentence 
placed in the middle of a description of a saffron or red salt. 
It seems hopeless to attempt to emend, and the faulty struc- 
ture may be due to Pliny himself. The sentence canitia . . . 
diximus is probably an interpolation, and in any case hard to 
understand. 

434 



BOOK XXXI. xlii. 90-xLin. 94 

like that of garum, and is different from salt, not only 
from foam salt. Egypt discovered it, and it appears 
to be brought down by the Nile. It also however 
floats on the surface of certain springs. The best 
kind of it yields a sort of oily fat, for there is, sur- 
prising as it may seem, a fat even in salt. It is 
adulterated too and coloured by red ochre, or usually 
by ground crockery ; this sham is detected by water, 
which washes out the artificial colour, while the 
genuine is only removed by oil, and perfumers use it 
very commonly because of its colour. In vessels the 
whiteness is seen on the surface, but the inner 
part, as I have said, a is moister. The nature of 
flower of salt is acrid, heating, bad for the stomach, 
sudorific, aperient when taken in wine and water, and 
useful for anodynes and detergents. It also removes 
hair from eye-lids. The sediment is shaken up in 
order to restore the saffron colour. Besides these 
salines there is also what is called at the salt-pools 
salpugo, or sometimes salsilago. It is entirely liquid, 
differing from sea brine by its more salty character. 

XLIII. There is yet another kind of choice liquor, Gamm. 
called garum, consisting of the guts of fish and the 
other parts that would otherwise be considered refuse ; 
these are soaked in salt, so that garum is really liquor 
from the putrefaction of these matters. Once this 
used to be made from a fish that the Greeks called 
garos ; they shewed that by fumigation with its burn- 
ing head the after-birth was brought away. Today 
the most popular garum is made from the scomber b 
in the fisheries of Carthago Spartaria c — it is called 
garum of the allies — one thousand sesterces being 

6 Probably the mackerel. 

e " Carthago where broom grows," Xew Carthage. 

435 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

permutantibus congios fere binos. nec liquor ullus 
paene praeter unguenta maiore in pretio esse coepit, 
nobilitatis etiam gentibus. scombros quidem et 
Mauretania Baeticaeque Carteia ex oceano intrantes 
capiunt ad nihil aliud utiles. laudantur et Clazo- 
menae garo Pompeique et Leptis, sicut muria Anti- 
polis ac Thuri, iam vero et Delmatia. 

95 XLIV. Yitium huius est allex atque imperfecta 
nec colata faex. coepit tamen et privatim ex 
inutili pisciculo minimoque confici. apuam nostri, 
aphyen Graeci vocant, quoniam is pisciculus e pluvia 
nascitur. Foroiulienses piscem ex quo faciunt lupum 
appellant. transiit deinde in luxuriam, creveruntque 
genera ad infinitum, sicuti garum ad colorem mulsi 
veteris adeoque suavitatem dilutum x ut bibi possit. 
aliud vero . . . 2 castimoniarum superstitioni etiam 
sacrisque Iudaeis dicatum, quod fit e piscibus squama 
carentibus. sic allex pervenit ad ostreas, echinos, 
urticas maris, mullorum iocinera, innumerisque 
generibus ad saporis gulae coepit sal tabescere. 

96 haec obiter indicata sint desideriis vitae, et ipsa tamen 
non nullius usus in medendo. namque et allece 
scabies pecoris sanatur infusa per cutem incisam, et 
contra canis morsus draconisve marini prodest, in 

97 linteolis autem concerptis inponitur. Et garo am- 
busta recentia sanantur, si quis infundat ac non 
nominet garum. contra canum quoque morsus 

1 suavitatem dilutum Mayhoff: dilutam suavitatem codd. 
- ad codd. : est Mayhoff: post ad lacunam indicat Detlefsen. 



a The congius was nearly six pint.s. 

b As allex is feminine, and aliud neuter, it seems best to 
suppose that there is a lacuna here, but Pliny may be thinking 
of garum, to which he has just reverted. 



43 6 



BOOK XXXI. xliii. 94-xLiv. 97 

exchanged for about two congii a of the fish. Scarcely 
any other liquid except unguents has come to be 
more highly valued, bringing fame even to the 
nations that make it. The scomber is caught also in 
Mauretania and at Carteia in Baetica ; the scomber 
enters the Mediterranean from the Atlantic, but it 
is used only for making garum. Clazomenae too is 
famous for garum, and so are Pompeii and Leptis, 
just as Antipolis and Thurii are for muria, and today 
too also Delmatia. 

XLIV. Allex is sediment of garum, the dregs, AUex. 
neither whole nor strained. It has, however, also 
begun to be made separately from a tiny fish, other- 
wise of no use. The Romans call it apua, the Greeks 
aphye, because this tiny fish is bred out of rain. The 
people of Forum Julii call lupus (wolf) the fish from 
which they make garum. Then allex became a 
luxury, and its various kinds have come to be in- 
numerable ; garum for instance has been blended to 
the colour of old honey wine, and to a taste so pleasant 
that it can be drunk. But another kind <(of garum) b 
is devoted to superstitious sex-abstinence and Jewish 
rites, and is made from fish without scales. Thus 
allex has come to be made from oysters, sea urchins, 
sea anemones, and mullet's liver, and salt to be 
corrupted in numberless ways so as to suit all palates. 
These incidental remarks must suffice for the luxur- 
ious tastes of civilized man. Allex however itself is of 
some use in healing. For allex both cures itch in 
sheep, being poured into an incision in the skin, and 
is a good antidote for the bites of dog or sea draco ; 
it is applied on pieces of lint. By garum too are 
fresh burns healed, if it is poured over them without 
mentioning garum. It is also good for dog-bites and 

437 



PLINV: NATURAL HISTOHV 

prodest maximeque erocodili et ulceribus quae ser- 
punt aut sordidis. oris quoque et aurium ulceribus 
aut doloribus mirifice prodest. muria quoque sive 
illa salsugo spissat, mordet, extenuat, siccat, dysin- 
tericis utilis, etiam si nome intestina corripit, ischia- 
dicis, coeliacis veteribus infunditur. fotu quoque 
apud mediterraneos aquae marinae vicem pensat. 

98 XLV. Salis natura per se ignea est et inimica 
ignibus, fugiens eos, omnia erodens, corpora vero 
adstringens, siccans, adligans, defuncta etiam a 
putrescendi tabe * vindicans, ut durent ea per saecula, 
in medendo vero mordens, adurens, repurgans, ex- 
tenuans, dissolvens, stomacho tantum inutilis, prae- 
terquam ad excitandam aviditatem. adversus ser- 
pentium morsus cum origano, melle, hysopo, contra 
cerasten cum origano et cedria 2 aut pice aut melle. 

99 auxiliatur contra scolopendras ex aceto potus, ad- 
versus scorpionum ictus cum quarta parte lini seminis 
ex oleo vel aceto inlitus, adversus crabrones vero et 
vespas similiaque ex aceto, ad heterocranias capitis- 
que ulcera et pusulas papulasve et incipientes verru- 
cas cum sebo vitulino, item 3 oculorum remediis et 
ad excrescentes ibi carnes totiusque corporis pterygia. 
sed in oculis peculiariter. ob id collyriis emplastrisque 
additus — ad haec maxime probatur Tattaeus aut 

100 Caunites — ex ictu vero suffusis cruore oculis suggilla- 
tisque cum murrae pari pondere ac melle aut cum 

1 tabe lanus: tabo Detlefsen: ta V : to R : ita E WtZflN 

2 cedria Hermolaus Barbarus : cedro codd. 

3 Post itera velit in addere Mayhoff. 



a See § 92. * Horned viper. 

438 



BOOK XXXI. xliv. 97-xLv. ioo 

especially those of the crocodile, and for spreading or 
foul ulcers. For ulcers too or pains in mouth or ears 
it is wonderfully good. Muria too or the salsugo I 
spoke of ° is astringent, biting, reducing and drying, 
useful for dysentery, even if there is ulceration of the 
bowels. It is injected for sciatica and chronic 
coeliac disease. Among inland peoples it also takes 
the place of sea water for fomentations. 

XLV. The nature of salt is of itself fiery, and yet UseofsaJt 
it is hostile to fires, fleeing from them, corroding all m 
things, but astringent to the body, drying it and 
binding, preserving corpses also from corruption so 
that they last for ages; in medicine however it is 
mordent, caustic, cleansing, reducing, and resolvent, 
injurious only to the stomach except in so far as it 
stimulates the appetite. For the bites of serpents it 
is used with origanum, honey, and hyssop, for the 
cerastes b with origanum and cedar resin, or pitch, or 
honey. It is helpful for bite of the scolopendra if 
taken internally with vinegar, for scorpion stings if 
applied in oil or vinegar with a fourth part of linseed, 
but for hornets, wasps, and similar creatures, in 
vinegar only. for migraine, ulcers on the head, blisters, 
pimples, and incipient warts, with veal suet. It is 
also used in eye remedies, for excrescences of flesh 
there, and for pterygia c anywhere on the body, but 
especially on the eyes, and so it is an ingredient of eye 
salves and plasters : for these purposes Tattaean salt 
or that of Caunus is the most approved. For eyes 
bloodshot from a blow, however, and for bruised eyes, 
it is used with an equal weight of myrrh and with 
honey, or with hyssop in warm water. and the eyes 

c Either (a) whitlows or (b) inflammatory swellings of the 
eye. 

439 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

hysopo ex aqua calida, utque foveantur salsugine. 
ad haec Hispaniensis eligitur, contraque suffusiones 
oculorum cum lacte in coticulis teritur, privatim sug- 
gillationibus in linteolo involutus crebroque ex aqua 
ferventi inpositus.ulceribus oris manantibus in linteolo 
concerpto, gingivarum tumori infricatus et contra 

101 scabritiem linguae fractus comminutusque. aiunt 
dentes non erodi nec putrescere, si quis cotidie mane 
ieiunus salem contineat sub lingua donec liquescat. 
lepras idem et furunculos et lichenas et psoras emen- 
dat cum passa uva exempto eius ligno et sebo bubulo 
atque origano ac fermento vel pane — maxime 
Thebaicus ad haec et pruritus eligitur — tonsillis et 
uvis cum melle prodest. 1 quicumque ad anginas, 
hoc amplius cum oleo et aceto eodem tempore extra 

102 faucibus inlitus cum pice liquida. emollit et alvum 
vino mixto,innoxie 2 et taenearum genera pellit in vino 
potus. aestus balnearum convalescentes ut tolerare 
possint linguae subditus praestat. nervorum dolorem, 
maxime circa umeros et renes, in saccis aqua ferventi 
crebro candefactus levat, colum torminaque et cox- 
arum dolores potus et in isdem saccis inpositus 
candens,podagras cum farina ex melle et oleo tritus, 
ibi maxime usurpanda observatione quae totis cor- 
poribus nihil esse utilius sale et sole dixit. itaque 3 
cornea videmus corpora piscatorum. sed hoc prae- 

103 cipuum dicatur 4 in podagris. tollit et clavos pedum. 
item perniones. ambustis ex oleo inponitur aut com- 

1 Non post prodest sed quicumque comma Mayhoff. 

2 innoxie dT Mayhoff: innoxio V Detlefsen: innoxia RE. 

3 itaque dTEr: utique coni. lantt*. 

4 dicatur codd. : iudicatur Mayhoff. 



a See § 92. 
440 



BOOK XXXI. xlv. 100-103 

should be fomented with salsugo. a For these pur- 
poses Spanish salt is chosen. For cataract it is 
ground in a little stone mortar with milk ; for bruises 
a specific is salt wrapped in linen, dipped frequently 
in boiling water, and applied ; for running ulcers in 
the mouth it is applied in lint ; it is rubbed on swollen 
gums, and for roughness of the tongue it is broken and 
ground up fine. They say that teeth neither rot nor 
decay if one daily while fasting in the morning keeps 
a piece of salt under the tongue until it melts. It 
also cures leprous sores, boils, lichen and psoriasis, 
used with stoned raisons, beef suet, origanum, and 
leaven or bread ; for these purposes and for pruritus 
Theban salt is mostly chosen. For diseased tonsils 
and uvula salt with honey is beneficial. For quinsy 
any salt is good, but all the more when oil and vinegar 
are added, while at the same time salt and liquid 
pitch are applied externally to the throat. Mixed 
with wine salt also softens the belly, and taken 
in wine drives out harmlessly the various kinds of 
worms. Placed under the tongue salt enables con- 
valescents to endure the heat of the bath. Pains of 
the sinews, especially in the region of the shoulders 
and kidneys, are relieved by salt in bags, kept hot 
by frequent dipping into boiling water; colitis, 
griping and sciatica by taking salt in drink and by 
hot applications in the same kind of bags ; gout by 
salt pounded with flour, honey, and oil. Herein is 
especially applicable the saying that for the whole 
body nothing is more beneficial than salt and sun. 
Accordingly we see that the bodies of fishermen are 
horny, but the above remark should be applied 
especially to gout. It also removes corns on the 
feet and chilblains. It is applied to burns in oil or 

441 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

manducatus pusulasque reprimit, ignibus vero sacris 
ulceribusque quae serpant ex aceto aut hysopo, 
carcinomatis eum uva taminia, phagedaenis ulcerum 
tostus cum farina hordei. superinposito linteolo 
madente vino. morbo regio laborantes, donec sudent 
ad ignem, contra pruritus quos sentiunt ex oleo et 

104 aceto infricatus iuvat, fatigatos ex oleo. multi et 
hvdropicos sale curavere fervoresque febrium cum 
oleo perunxere et tussim veterem linctu eius dis- 
cussere, clysteribus infudere ischiadicis, ulcerum 
excrescentibus vel putrescentibus inposuere, croco- 
dilorum morsibus ex aceto in linteolis ita ut battue- 
rentur ante ulcera. bibitur et contra opium ex aceto 
mulso, luxatis inponitur cum farina et melle, item 

105 extuberationibus. dentium dolori cum aceto fotus 
et inlitus cum resina prodest. ad omnia autem 
spuma salis iucundior utiliorque. sed quicumque 
sal acopis additur ad excalfactiones, item zmegmatis 
ad extendendam * cutem levandamque. pecorum 
quoque scabiem et boum inlitus tollit, daturque lin- 
gendus et oculis iumentorum inspuitur. haec de sale 
dicta sint. 

106 XLVI. Non est differenda et nitri natura, non 
multum a sale distans et eo diligentius dicenda, quia 
palam est medicos qui de eo scripserunt ignorasse 
naturam nec quemquam Theophrasto diligentius 
tradidisse. exiguum fit apud Mcdos canescentibus 

1 exiendendam. E r wdg. : extenuendam VR : extenuandam 
<1T. 



a Pliny seems to have confused the verbs fiaTnui (Dios- 
corides) and tvtttco. 
442 



BOOK XXXI. xlv. 103 -xlvi. 106 

chewed. It checks blisters, but for erysipelas and 
for creeping ulcers vinegar or hyssop is added, for 
carcinomata taminian grapes, while for phagedaenic 
ulcers it is roasted with barley meal, a linen cloth 
being placed 011 top, soaked in wine. Sufferers from 
jaundice are helped by rubbing with salt, oil, and 
vinegar before a fire until they sweat : this relieves 
the itching caused by this disease. Oil should be 
used in cases of fatigue. Many have treated dropsy 
too with salt, rubbed with salt and oil hot feverish 
patients, stayed a chronic cough by licking it, injected 
salt enemas into sufferers from sciatica, applied it to 
swollen or festering ulcers, and treated crocodile bites 
by salt and vinegar in lint cloths, taking care first to 
flog a the sores with them. Salt is taken in oxymel 
for poisoning by poppy-juice, with flour and honey 
it is applied to dislocations, and also to tumours. 
Fomenting with salt and vinegar, or an application of 
salt and resin, is good for tooth-ache. But for all 
purposes foam of salt is more pleasant and more 
beneficial. Salt however of any kind is added to 
anodynes for a warming effect, also to detergents for 
stretching and smoothing the skin. An application 
of salt removes itch-scab in sheep and oxen ; salt is 
also given to be licked, and it is spit into the eyes of 
draught animals. This must suffice for my account 
of salt. 

XLVI. I must not put off describing the character Soda. 
of soda, which is very similar to salt ; a more careful 
account must be given because it is plain that the 
physicians who have written about it were ignorant 
of its character, and that nobody has given a more 
careful description than Theophrastus. A little is 
formed in Media in valleys that are white through 

443 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

siccitate convallibus, quod vocant halmyraga, minus 
etiam in Thracia iuxta Philippos, sordidum terra quod 

107 appellant agrium. nam quercu cremata numquam 
multum factitatum est et iam pridem in totum 
omissum. aquae vero nitrosae plurimis in locis rep- 
periuntur, sed sine viribus densandi. optimum copio- 
sumque in Clitis * Macedoniae, quod vocant Chales- 
tricum, candidum purumque, proximum sali. lacus 
est nitrosus exiliente e medio dulci fonticulo. ibi fit 
nitrum circa canis ortum novenis diebus totidemque 

108 cessat ac rursus innatat et deinde cessat. quo 
apparet soli naturam esse quae gignat, quoniam 
compertum est nec soles proficere quicquam, cum 
cesset, nec imbres. mirum et illud, scatebra fonticuli 
semper emicante lacum neque augeri neque emuere. 
his autem diebus quibus gignitur si fuere imbres, 
salsius nitrum faciunt, aquilones deterius, quia vali- 

109 dius commovent limum. et hoc quidem nascitur, 
in Aegypto autem conficitur multo abundantius, 
sed deterius. nam fuscum lapidosumque est. fit 
paene eodem modo quo sal, nisi quod salinis mare 
infundunt, Nilum autem 2 nitrariis. hae y cedente y 
Nilo 3 siccantur, | decedente f madent suco nitri XL 

1 in Clitis] coni. inclutis (aquis) Mayhoff. 

- autem E : auteni mo VRd : autumno Mayhoff. 

9 Nilo . . . decedente om. VR*dT: accedente Xilo rigan- 
tur, decedente Mayhoff: excedente Nilo siccantur, recedente 
Detlefsen: cedente codd.: decedente (-tem E) Er: uncos ego 
posui. 



a I.e. " wild soda." 

b MayhofFs guess makes an adjective (inclutis) of " in 
Clitis," meaning " famous." 

c A locus nonduni *<in<ih>s. From the next sentence it is 
cleai llial thc flow into the beds was controlled, so that it 
appears that only the falling Nile was admitted. This would 

444 



BOOK XXXI. xlvi. 106-109 

drought; they call it halmyrax. It is also found 
in Thrace near Philippi, but in less quantities and 
contaminated with earth ; it is called agrium. a But 
soda from burnt oak-wood was never made in large 
quantities, and the method has long been altogether 
abandoned. Alkaline water, however, is found in 
very many places, but the soda is not concentrated 
enough to solidify. At Clitae b in Macedonia is 
found in abundance the best, called soda of Chalestra, 
white and pure, very like salt. There is an alkaline 
lake there with a little spring of fresh water rising 
up in the centre. Soda forms in it about the rising 
of the Dog-star for nine days, ceases for nine days, 
comes to the top again and then ceases. This shows 
that it is the character of the soil that produces soda, 
since it has been discovered that, when it ceases, 
neither sunshine is of any help at all nor yet rain. 
Another wonderful thing about the lake is that 
although the spring is always bubbling up it neither 
gets larger nor overflows. But if, on those days on 
which soda forms, has been rain, it makes the soda 
more salty, while north winds on those days, by 
stirring up the mud too vigorously, makes it inferior. 
This soda is natural, but in Egypt it is made arti- 
ficially, in much greater abundance but of inferior 
quality, for it is dark and stony. It is made in 
almost the same manner as is salt, except that they 
pour sea-water into the salt-beds but the Nile into 
the soda-beds. The latter f as the Nile rises become 
dry ; c as it falls | they are moist with liquid soda for 

require accedente and decedente. Mayhoif conjectured accedente, 
but read rigantur for siccantur, because he held that the rising 
Nile filled the beds. It is a pity that VRdT have a hiatus here, 
for the missing words might have thrown light on the difficulty. 

445 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

diebus continuis, non ut in Macedonia statis. 1 si 
etiam imbres adfuerunt, minus ex flumine addunt. 
statimque ut densari coeptum est, rapitur, ne resolva- 
tur in nitrariis. sic 2 quoque olei natura intcrvenit, 
ad scabiem animalium utilis. ipsum autem conditum 

110 in acervis durat. mirum in lacu Ascanio et quibus- 
dam circa Chalcida fontibus summas aquas dulces 
esse potarique, inferiores nitrosas. in nitro optimum 
quod tenuissimum, et ideo spuma melior, ad aliqua 
tamen sordidum, tamquam ad infieiendas purpuras 
tincturasque omnes. magnus et vitro usus, qui 

111 dicetur suo loco. nitrariae Aegypti circa Naucra- 
tim et Memphin tantum solebant esse, circa Memphin 
deteriores. nam et lapidescit ibi in acervis, multique 
sunt cumuli ea de causa saxei. faciunt ex his vasa, 
nec non et frequenter liquatum cum sulpure 
coquentes. in corporibus 3 quoque quae 4 inveterari 
volunt illo nitro utuntur. sunt ibi nitrariae in quibus 

112 et rufum exit a colore terrae. spumam nitri, quae 
maxime laudatur, antiqui negabant fieri nisi cum ros 
cecidisset praegnantibus nitrariis, sed nondum pari- 
entibus. itaque non fieri incitatis, etiamsi caderet. 

1 13 alii acervorum fermento gigni existimavere. proxima 
aetas medicorum aphronitrum tradidit in Asia colligi 

1 statis codd. : cessantis coni. Mayhoff. 

2 sic codd. : hic vet. Dal., Mayhoff. 

3 corporibus coni. K. C. Bailey, Hermathena 1926 : carnibua 
Ianus, Detlefsen, Mayhoff: carbonibus codd. 

4 quae Bailey: quas codd. 



a Or, with the reading hic, " here. 
446 



BOOK XXXI. xlvi. 109-113 

forty days on end, and not as in Macedonia during 
fixed periods. If rain also has fallen, they add less 
river water, and gather at once the soda that has 
begun to solidify, lest it should melt back into the 
soda-bed. Thus a too oily matter forms among the 
soda, useful for itch-scab on animals. Soda however, 
stored in heaps, lasts a long time. A wonder of 
Lake Ascanius and of certain springs around Chalcis 
is that the surface water is sweet and drinkable but 
underneath is alkaline. Of soda the best is the 
finest, and therefore froth of soda is superior, but 
for some purposes the impure is good, for example 
colouring purple cloths and all kinds of dyeing. 
Soda is of great use in the making of glass, as will be 
described in its proper place. 6 The soda-beds of 
Egypt used to be confined to the regions around 
Naucratis and Memphis, the beds around Memphis 
being inferior. For the soda becomes stone-like in 
heaps there, and many of the soda piles there are for 
the same reason quite rocky. From these they make 
vessels, and frequently by baking melted soda with 
sulphur. For the bodies too that they wish to embalm 
this is the soda they use. In this region are soda-beds 
from which red soda also is taken owing to the colour 
of the earth. Foam of soda, which is very highly 
prized, the ancients said was formed only when dew 
had fallen on beds teeming with soda but not yet 
bringing it forth ; accordingly, even if dew fell, soda 
did not form on beds in agitated action. Others have 
thought that foam is produced by fermentation of 
the heaps. The last generation of physicians said 
that in Asia was gathered aphronitrum c oozing in 

6 XXXVI. § 193. 

c A Greek word meaning " soda foam." 



PLIXY. NATURAL HISTORY 

in speluncis mollibus * destillans — specus eos colli- 
gas 2 vocant — dein siccant sole. optimum putatur 
Lvdium ; probatio, ut sit minime ponderosum et 
maxime fricabile, colore paene purpureo. hoc in 
pastillis adfertur, Aegyptium in vasis picatis, 3 ne 
liquescat. vasa quoque ea sole inarescentia per- 

114 ficiuntur. nitri probatio, ut sit tenuissimum et 
quam maxime spongeosum fistulosumque. adul- 
teratur in Aegypto calce, deprehenditur gustu. 
sincerum enim statim resolvitur, adulteratum calce 
pungit et asperum 4 reddit odorem vehementer. 
uritur in testa opertum ne exultet, alias igni non 
exilit nitrum, nihilque gignit aut alit, cum in salinis 
herbae gignantur et in mari tot animalia, tantum algae. 

115 sed maiorem esse acrimoniam nitri apparet non hoc 
tantum argumento sed et illo quod nitrariae calcia- 
menta protinus consumunt, alias salubres oculorum- 
que claritati utiles. in nitrariis non lippiunt. ulcera 
allata eo celerrime sanantur, ibi facta tarde. ciet et 
sudores cum oleo perunctis corpusque emollit. in 
pane salis vice utuntur Chalestraeo, ad raphanos 
Aegyptio, teneriores eos facit, sed obsonia alba et 
deteriora, olera viridiora. in medicina autem cal- 
facit, extenuat, mordet, spissat, siccat, exulcerat, 

1 mollibus VRdTf : canalibus Detlefsen : molibus Gelenius, 
Mayhoff, qui etiam nobilibus vel madidis coni. 

2 coiligas (-gans E 1 ) codd., Mayhoff: Corycias Detlefsen: 
dlii alia. 

3 picatis d vulg., Mayhoff: spissatum Detlefsen: spissatis 
RE. 

4 asperum cod. a, Detlefsen: aspersum d vulg. Mayhoff: 
aspersu VRf. 

a Usually emended. But the word mollis may refer to a 
cave with soft sides and floor, through which soda might ooze. 

1 This word is probablv corrupt. 
44 8 



BOOK XXXI. xlvi. 113-115 

soft a caves — they are called colligae b — and then dried 
in the sun. The best is thought to be Lydian. The 
tests are that it should be the least heavy and the 
most friable, and of an almost purple colour. The 
last kind is imported in lozenges, but the Egyptian in 
vessels lined with pitch, lest it melt. These vessels 
too are finished off by being dried in the sun. The 
tests of soda are that it should be very fine and as 
spongy and full of holes as possible. In Egypt it is 
adulterated with lime, which is detected by the taste ; 
for pure soda melts at once, but adulterated soda 
stings because of the lime, and gives out a strong, 
bitter c odour. It is burnt in an earthen jar with a 
lid, lest it should crackle out; otherwise soda does 
not crackle in fire ; it produces nothing and nourishes 
nothing, whereas in salt-pits grow plants, and in the 
sea so many animals and so much sea-weed. rf But 
that the pungency of soda is greater is shown not only 
by this evidence but also by the fact that soda-beds 
at once consume shoes, but are otherwise healthful 
and good for clearness of vision. In the soda-beds 
nobody has ophthalmia ; sores brought there heal 
very quickly, but those that form there heal slowly. 
Soda and oil also make to sweat those who are 
rubbed with the mixture, which softens the flesh. 
They use Chalestran soda for bread instead of salt, 
Egyptian soda for radishes ; it makes them more 
tender, but meats white and inferior and vegetables 
greener. In medicine soda warms, alleviates, stings, 
braces, dries, and clears away e ulcers, and is useful 

c With the reading aspersum: " when sprinkled it has a 
strong smell." 

d Or: " only sea-weeds." 

e See XXVII. § 22 and note on XXVII. § 105. 

449 

VOL. VIII. Q 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

1 16 utile his quae evocanda sint aut discutienda et lenius 
mordenda atque extenuanda, sicut in papulis pusulis- 
que. quidam in hoc usu accensum vino austero 
restingunt atque ita trito in balneis utuntur sine oleo. 
sudores nimios inhibet cum iride arida adiecto oleo 
viridi, extenuat et cicatrices oculorum et scabritias 
genarum cum fico inlitum aut decoctum in passo ad 
dimidias partes,item contra argema,oculorum ungues. 

117 decoctum cum passo in * mali Punici calyce adiuvat 
claritatem visus cum melle inunctum. prodest 
dentium dolori ex vino, si cum pipere colluantur; 
item cum porro decoctum nigrescentes dentes, 
crematum dentrifricio, ad colorem reducit. capitis 
animalia et lendes necat cum Samia terra inlitum ex 
oleo. auribus purulentis vino liquatum infunditur, 
sordes eiusdem partis erodit ex aceto, sonitus et tin- 

118 nitus discutit siccum additum. vitiligines albas cum 
creta Cimolia aequo pondere ex aceto in sole inlitum 
emendat. furunculos admixtum resinae extrahit, aut 2 
cum uva alba passa nucleis eius simul tritis. testium 
inflammationi occurrit, item eruptionibus pituitae 
in toto corpore cum axungia, contraque canis morsus 
addita et resina f inlitis j. 3 cum aceto inlinitur. sic 
et serpentium morsibus, phagedaenis et ulceribus 
quae serpunt aut putrescunt cum calce ex aceto. 
hydropicis cum fico tusum datur inliniturque. discu- 

1 cum passo in codd. : in passo cum Mayhoff. 

2 extrahit aut codd. : extrahit Mayhoff. 

:i inlitis VV d R Mayhoff: initis E r Detlefsen: uncos ego 
addidi. 

a With Mayhoff 's reading : " in raisin wine with pome- 
granate rind." 

6 In this part at any rate of Pliny the first words of each 
clause seem to indicate the complaint. This fact should, 1 

45° 



BOOK XXXI. xlvi. 116-118 

for conditions where there must be withdrawal, dis- 
persal, and gentle stinging and alleviation, as with 
pimples and blisters. Some for this purpose set it 
on fire and put it out with a dry wine, and use it so 
prepared and ground in the bath without oil. 
Excessive sweats are checked by soda with dried iris 
and the addition of green oil ; it also improves scars 
on the eyes and roughness of the lids if applied with 
fig, or boiled down to one half in raisin wine, a 
preparation too which is used for white ulcers and 
inflamed swellings on the eyes. Boiled down with 
raisin wine in a pomegranate rind,° and applied with 
honey, it improves vision. Soda is good for tooth- 
ache if a mouth-wash is made by adding pepper and 
wine. Boiled down too with leek, and burnt to 
make a dentifrice, it restores the colour of blackening 
teeth. Insects and nits on the head it kills if applied 
in oil with Samian earth. Dissolved in wine it is 
poured into purulent ears ; wax in the same organ it 
eats away in vinegar ; noises and singing it stops if 
added dry. Applied in sunshine with vinegar and 
an equal weight of Cimolian chalk it cures the white 
kinds of psoriasis. It brings to a head boils, either 
mixed with resin or with white raisins, the pips being 
ground up with them. With axle-grease it combats 
inflammation of the testicles, and also outbursts of 
phlegm on the whole body ; it is applied with vinegar, 
resin being added, to dog-bites. This preparation 
is used for snake bites ; for phagedaenic, creeping, 
or festering ulcers, with lime and vinegar ; for 
dropsy it is pounded with figs and administered by 
the mouth and externally. 6 Griping pains too it 

think, determine the punctuation. Editors differ widely in 
this. 

451 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

119 tit et tormina, si decoctum bibatur pondere drachmae 
cum ruta vel aneto vel cumino. reficit lassitudines cum 
oleo et aceto perunctorum, et contra algores horrores- 
que prodest manibus pedibusque confricatis cum 
oleo. conprimit et pruritus suffusorum felle, maxime 
cum aceto in sudore datum. 1 succurrit et venenis 
fungorum ex posca potum aut, si buprestis hausta sit, 
ex aqua, vomitionesque evocat. his qui sanguinem 

120 tauri biberint cum lasere datur. in facie quoque 
exulcerationes sanat cum melle et lacte bubulo. 
ambustis tostum donec nigrescat tritumque inlinitur. 
infunditur f urceis f 2 et renium dolori aut rigori 
corporum nervorumve doloribus. paralysi in lingua 
cum pane inponitur. suspiriosis in tisana sumitur. 

121 tussim veterem sanat flore, mixto galbano resinae 
terebinthinae, pari pondere omnium ita, ut fabae 
magnitudo devoretur. coquitur dilutumque postea 
cum pice liquida sorbendum in angina datur. flos 
eius cum oleo cypreo et articulorum doloribus in sole 
iucundus est. regium quoque morbum extenuat in 
potione vini et inflationes discutit, sanguinis pro- 
fluvium e naribus sistit ex ferventi aqua vapore naribus 

122 rapto. porriginem alumine permixto tollit, alarum 
virus ex aqua cottidiano fotu, ulcera ex pituita nata 
cera permixtum, quo genere nervis quoque prodest. 
coeliacis infunditur. perungui ante accessiones 

1 in sudore datum Sillig: instillatum Mayhojf: insudatum 

codd. 

2 urceis codd. : ventris Caesarius > vesicae Mayhoff. War- 
mington umeris coni. 



a The urceis of all the MSS. seems corrupt, and no proposed 
emendation explains the cause of the corruption. MayhofFs 
vesicae is the word usually associated in Pliny with renium. 

45 2 



BOOK XXXI. xlvi. 1 19-122 

allays if there is taken a drachma by weight boiled 
down with rue or dill or cummin. The pains of 
fatigue are removed by rubbing all over with soda, 
oil, and vinegar, while for chills and shivers it is of 
advantage to rub the hands and feet thoroughly 
with soda and oil. It also checks the itch of jaundice, 
especially when administered with vinegar while the 
patient is sweating. Taken in vinegar and water 
soda is beneficial against the poisons of fungi ; if a 
buprestris has been swallowed it is taken in water ; 
it is also a good emetic. It is given in laser to those 
who have drunk bull's blood. Ulcerations also on 
the face it heals with honey and cow's milk. It is 
applied to burns roasted until it turns black and 
crushed to powder. It is injected for pain in the 
. . . a and kidneys, or for rigors of the body, or for 
pains of the sinews. For paralysis of the tongue it 
is applied there with bread, and for asthma it is 
taken in barley gruel. Chronic cough is cured by 
flower of soda with galbanum mixed with terebrinth 
resin, all equal in weight, but the piece to be swal- 
lowed must be of the size of a bean. Soda, boiled 
and then combined with liquid pitch, is given to be 
swallowed by patients with quinsy. Flower of soda 
with oil of cyprus is also soothing if applied in the sun 
for pains in the joints. Jaundice also it alleviates 
taken in a draught of wine; this remedy relieves 
rlatulence. It checks epistaxis if inhaled in the steam 
from boiling water. By soda mixed with alum is 
removed scurf, rank smell of the armpits by daily 
fomentation with soda and water, sores due to nose- 
running by soda mixed with wax — a mixture also 
good for the sinews — and it is injected for the coeliac 
affection. Many have prescribed complete rubbing 

453 



PLINY: XATURAL HISTORY 

frigidas nitro et oleo multi praecepere, sicut adversus 
iepras, lentigines; podagris in balneis uti. solia nitri 
prosunl atrophis, opisthotonis, tetanis. sal nitrinn 
sulpuri eoncoctum in lapidem vcrtitur. 

123 XLYIL Spongearum genera diximus in naturis 
aquatilium marinorum. quidam ita distingunt : alias 
ex his mares tenui fistula spissioresque, persorbentes, 
quae et tinguntur in deliciis, aliquando et purpura ; 
alias feminas maioribus fistulis ac perpetuis ; mari- 
bus l alias duriores, quas appellant tragos, tenuis- 
simis fistulis atque densissimis. candidae cura fiunt : 
e mollissimis recentes per aestatem tinctae salis 
spuma ad lunam et pruinas sternuntur inversae, hoc 
est qua parte adhaesere, ut candorem bibant. animal 

124 esse docuimus, etiam cruore inhaerente. aliqui 
narrant et auditu regi eas contrahique ad sonum, 
exprimentes abundantiam umoris, nec avelli petris 
posse, ideo abscidi ac saniem remittere. quin et eas 2 
quae ab aquilone sint genitae praeferunt ceteris, nec 
usquam diutius durare spiritum medici adfirmant. 
sic et prodesse corporibus, quia nostro suum misceant, 
et ideo magis recentes magisque umidas, sed minus 

1 maribus codd.: e maribus Hermolaus Barbarus: in mari- 
bus Sillig. 

2 Ante eas lacunam indicat Mayhoff, qui fere abscisas 
aliquamdiu vivere excidisse putat. 

a Or: " the undernourished." 

6 For nitrum see Additional Note, p. 568. 

< Book IX. § 148. 

d The adjective perpetuus in this context is difficult. It 
could mean "never closed," referring to sponges growing in 
the sea, or " connected with one another," used of the sponges 
of commerce. See Additional Note, p. 567. 

e Or: e (or in) maribus: " of the males, the harder." 

f A Greek word, Tpdyot, " goats." ° See IX. § 149. 

454 



BOOK XXXI. xlvi. 122-xlvii. 124 

with soda and oil before the chills of fever come on, 
and so to use it for leprous sores and freckles ; and 
they prescribe its use in the bath for gouty people. 
Soda baths are good for consumptives, a and for the 
victims of opisthotonus and other forms of tetanus. 
Salt and soda, when heated with sulphur, turn to stone. 6 

XLVII. Of the kinds of sponges I have spoken c Sponges. 
when describing the nature of marine creatures. 
Certain authorities classify them thus : some sponges, 
the males, have little holes, and are more compact 
and verv absorbent; they are also dyed for the 
luxurious, sometimes even with purple ; others, the 
females, have larger and uninterrupted d holes ; 
others, harder e than the males, called tragi/ have 
very small holes that are very close together. 
Sponges are whitened artificially. Fresh sponges, 
of the softest kind, are soaked in foam of salt through- 
out the summer, and then laid open to the moon and 
hoar-frosts upside down, that is, with the side upper- 
most that adhered to the rocks, so that they may 
drink in whiteness. I have said that sponges are 
animal, being even lined with a coating of blood. 
Some also declare that they are guided by a sense of 
hearing, and contract at a noise, sending out a great 
quantity of moisture; that they cannot be torn 
from the rocks, and therefore are cut off, bleeding 
sanies. Moreover, those h growing exposed to the 
north-east they prefer to others, and physicians 
declare that nowhere else does their breath last for 
a longer time. Such too, they say, are beneficial to 
the human body, because they mix their breath witli 

* The lacuna supposed by Mayhoff to be here he would fill 
up by words roughly meaning: " that cut off they live for a 
considerable time." 

455 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in calida aqua minusque unctas aut unctis corporibus 
inpositas et spissas minus adhaerescere. 1 mollis- 

125 simum genus earum penicilli. oculorum tumores se- 
dant ex mulso inpositi,iidem abstergendae lippitudini, 
utilissime ex aqua ; tenuissimos esse mollissimosque 
oportet. inponuntur et spongeae ipsae epiphoris ex 
posca et aceto calido ad capitis dolores. de cetero 
recentes discutiunt, mitigant, molliunt, veteres non 
glutinant vulnera. usus earum ad abstergenda, 
fovenda, operienda a fotu, dum aliud inponatur. 

126 ulcera quoque umida et senilia inpositae siccant. 
fracturae et vulnera spongeis utilissime foventur. 
sanguis rapitur in secando, ut curatio perspiei possit. 
et ipsae vulnerum inflammationibus inponuntur nunc 
siccae, nunc aceto adspersae nunc vino, nunc ex aqua 
frigida ; ex aqua vero caelesti inpositae secta recentia 

127 non patiuntur intumescere. inponuntur et integris 
partibus, sed fluctione occulta laborantibus quae dis- 
cutienda sit, et his quae apostemata vocant melle 
decocto perunctis, item articulis alias aceto salso 
madidae, alias e posca; si ferveat impetus, ex 

1 adhaerescere E r vul>j. : adhaerescente uut adhaerescentem 
ceteri codd.: adhaerescentes Mayhoff. 

45 6 



BOOK XXXI. xlvii. 124-127 

ours ; therefbre fresh sponges are the more beneficial, 
as are also the moist, but less benencial are those 
soaked in hot water, or those that are oily, or laid 
on oily bodies, while compact sponges are less ad- 
hesive. The softest kind of sponge is that used for 
bandage-rolls. Applied in honey wine these relieve 
swollen eyes. They are also good for wiping away 
the rheum of ophthalmia, which they do most 
efficiently with water. They should be very fine and 
very soft. Sponges themselves ° are applied in 
vinegar and water for eye-fluxes, and in warm vinegar 
for headaches. For the rest, fresh sponges are 
dispersive, soothing, and emollient ; old sponges do 
not close wounds. The uses of sponges are to be 
detergent, to foment, and after fomentation to cover 
until something else is applied. Applied also to 
wet ulcers of senile persons, sponges dry them, and 
they foment with the greatest benefit fractures and 
wounds. In surgery sponges quickly absorb the blood, 
so that treatment can easily be observed. Sponges 
themselves are applied to inflamed wounds, some- 
times dry, at other times moistened with vinegar, or 
wine, or cold water; applied indeed in rain-water to 
fresh incisions they prevent their swelling. They 
are also laid on parts that are whole, but suffering 
from a hidden flux that has to be dispersed, and also 
on what are called apostemata, b after rubbing them 
with boiled honey; on joints also, sometimes 
moistened with salted vinegar, sometimes with vine- 
gar and water; should the complaint be attended 

a Ipsae can hardly mean " by themselves," as it apparently 
does in § 126, for ex posca seems to go with it. It may mark 
a contrast with the sponge ash of § 129. 

6 A Greek word, " abscesses." 

457 



PLIXY: XATURAL HISTORY 

aqua. eaedem 1 callo e salsa, at contra scorpionum 
ictus ex aceto. in vulnerum curatione et sucidae 
lanae vicem implent 2 cx eadem ; differentia haec, 
quod lanae emolliunt, spongeae coercent rapiuntque 

128 vitia ulcerum. circumligantur et hydropicis siccae 
vel ex aqua tepida poscave, utcumque blandiri opus 
est operirive 3 aut siccare cutem. inponuntur et his 
morbis quos vaporari oporteat, ferventi aqua perfusae 
expressaeque inter duas tabulas. sic et stomacho 
prosunt et in febri contra nimios ardores, sed splenicis 
e posca, ignibus sacris ex aceto efficaciores quam 
aliud; inponi oportet sic ut sanas quoque partes 

129 spatiose operiant. sanguinis profluvium sistunt ex 
aceto aut frigida, livorem ab ictu recentem ex aqua 
salsa calida saepius mutata tollunt, testium tumorem 
doloremque ex posca. ad canum morsus utiliter con- 
cisae inponuntur ex aceto aut frigida aut melle, 
abunde subinde umectandae. Africanae cinis cum 
porri sectivi suco sanguinem reicientibus haustus, 
aliis 4 ex frigida, prodest. idem cinis vel cum oleo vel 

130 cum aceto fronti inlitus tertianas tollit. privatim 
Africanae ex posca tumorem discutit, omnium autem 
cinis cum pice crematarum sanguinem sistit vul- 
nerum; aliqui raras tantum ad hoc cum pice urunt. 

1 eaedem Mayhqff: eadem codd. 

- Post implent add. nunc ex vino et oleo nunc ex eadem 
culg. ante Iannm. 
3 operirive plerique codd. : operireve cod. a Mayhoff. 
1 haustus aliis Mayhoff: haustu salis codd. 



a See Onnerfors PUniana, pp. 167, 168 for ve after a short -e. 

b This is a dubious reading, but haustu salis without cum 
can scarcely be right. 
458 



BOOK XXXI. xlvii. 127-130 

with fever, water alone is to be used. With salt and 
water sponges are also applied to callosities, but with 
vinegar to scorpion stings. In the treatment of 
wounds sponges with salt and water also act as a 
substitute for greasy wool ; the difference is that 
wools soften, but sponges are astringent and absorb 
quickly the diseased humours of ulcers. They are 
also bound round dropsical parts, either dry or with 
warm water or vinegar and water, whenever there 
is need to soothe, or cover ° the skin, or dry it. They 
are applied also for such diseases as need a steamy 
heat, steeped in boiling water, and pressed between 
two boards. So applied they are also good for the 
stomach, and for the excessive burnings of fever; 
but for the spleen with vinegar and water, while for 
erysipelas they are with vinegar more efficacious 
than anything ; they should be so placed that there 
is ample covering for the healthy parts. With 
vinegar or cold water they arrest haemorrhage, with 
hot salt and water, often changed, they remove 
fresh bruises caused by a blow, and with vinegar and 
water they cure swollen and painful testicles. For 
dog-bite are applied beneficially with vinegar, cold 
water, or honey, cut-off pieces of sponge, which must 
be thoroughly moistened every now and then. The 
ash of the African sponge, swallowed with the juice 
of cut-leek, is good for spitting of blood ; for other b 
complaints it should be taken in cold water. This 
ash also, applied to the forehead with oil or vinegar, 
cures tertian agues. African sponges are specific 
with vinegar and water for reducing swellings, and 
the ash of all sponges burnt with pitch arrest 
haemorrhage from wounds ; for this purpose some 
burn with pitch only sponges of loose texture. For 

459 



PLINY: NATl RAL HISTORY 

et oculorum causa comburuntur in cruda olla riguliui 
operis, plurimum proficiente eo cinere contra sca- 
britias genarum excrescentesque carnes et quicquid 
opus sit ibi destringere, spissare, explere. utilius in 
eo usu lavare cinerem. praestant et strigilum vicem 
31 linteorumque adfectis corporibus. et contra solem 
apte protegunt capita. medici inscitia ad duo 
nomina eas redegere, Africanas, quarum firmius sit 
robur, Rhodiacasque ad fovendum molliores. nunc 
autem mollissimae circa muros Antiphelli urbis re- 
periuntur. Trogus auctor est circa Lyciam peniciilos 
mollissimos nasci in alto, unde ablatae sint spongeae, 
Polvbius super aegrum suspensos quietiores facere 
noctes. nunc praevertemur ad marina animalia. 



460 



BOOK XXXI. xlvii. 130-131 

eye remedies sponges are burnt in an unbaked 
earthenware pot, this ash being very efficacious 
indeed for roughness or excrescences of the eyelids, 
and for any complaint in the region of the eyes that 
needs a remedy detergent, astringent, or expletive, 
but for this treatment it is better to rinse the ash. 
They also furnish a substitute for scrapers and towels 
when the body is diseased. Sponges protect also 
efficiently the head against the sun. In their 
ignorance physicians have reduced sponges to two 
classes : the African, which are firmer and harder, 
and the Rhodian, which are softer for fomentations. 
Today however a very soft sponges are found around 
the walls of Antiphellus. 6 Trogus informs us that 
around Lycia very soft tent-sponges grow out at sea, 
in places where sponges have been taken away; 
Polybius that hung over a sick man these give more 
peaceful nights. Now I shall turn my attention to 
the creatures of the sea. 

Warmington thinks that Pliny is translating the Greek 
vvv Se (" as things are "). 
b A city of Lycia. 



461 



BOOK XXXII 



LIBER XXXII 

1 I. Ventum est ad summa naturae exemplorumque 
per rerum ordinem, et ipsum sua sponte occurrit in- 
mensum potentiae occultae documentum, ut prorsue 
neque aliud ultra quaeri debeat nec par ac similes 
possit inveniri, ipsa se vincente natura, et quidem 
numerosis modis. quid enim violentius mari ventisve 
et turbinibus ac procellis ? quo maiore hominum 
ingenio x in ulla sui parte adiuta est quam velis re- 
misque ? addatur his et reciproci aestus inenarrabilis 

2 vis versumque totum mare in flumen. tamen omnia 
haec pariterque eodem inpellentia unus ac parvus 
admodum pisciculus, echenais appellatus, in se tenet. 
ruant venti licet, saeviant procellae : imperat furori 
viresque tantas compescit et cogit stare navigia, 
quod non vincula ulla, non ancorae pondere inrevoca- 
bili iactae. 2 infrenat impetus et domat mundi 
rabiem nullo suo labore, non renitendo aut alio modo 

3 quam adhaerendo. hoc tantulo 3 satis est, contra tot 
impetus ut vetet ire navigia. sed 4 armatae classes 
inponunt sibi turrium propugnacula, ut in mari quo- 
que pugnetur velut e muris. heu vanitas humana, 

1 ingenio codd. : invento coni. Mayhoff. 

2 iaotae/ere omnes codd.: factae E. 

3 hoc tantulo codd.: hoc tantulum (-lu) coni. Mayhoff. 

4 sed codd. : ecce coni. Mayhoff. 

° Or, with MayhofFs conjecture, " invention." 
464 



BOOK XXXII 

See Index of Fishes for identification of aquatic creatures. 

I. The course of my subiect has brought me to the The *«*««<* 

, * » ° 1 . sea creatures. 

greatest of Nature s works, and 1 am actually met by 
such an unsought and overwhelming proof of hidden 
power that inquiry should really be pursued no 
further, and nothing equal or similar can be found, 
Nature surpassing herself, and that in numberless 
ways. For what is more violent than sea, winds, whirl- 
winds, and storms ? By what greater skill ° of man 
has Nature been aided in any part of herself than by 
sails and oars ? Let there be added to these the indes- 
cribable force of tidal ebb and flow, the whole sea 
being turned into a river. All these, however, al- 
though acting in the same direction, are checked by a 
single specimen of the sucking fish, a very small fish. 
Gales may blow and storms may rage ; this fish rules 
their fury, restrains their mighty strength, and brings 
vessels to a stop, a thing no cables can do, nor yet 
anchors of unmanageable weight that have been cast. 6 
It checks their attacks and tames the madness of the 
Universe with no toil of its own, not by resistance, or 
in any way except by adhesion. This little creature 
suffices in the face of all these forces to prevent vessels 
from moving. But armoured fleets bear aloft on 
their decks a rampart of towers, so that fighting may 
take place even at sea as from the walls of a fortress. 

* With the reading fadae : " made of incalculable strength." 

465 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cum rostra illa aere ferroque ad ictus armata semi- 
pedalis inhibere possit ac tenere devincta pisciculus ! 
fertur Actiaco Marte tenuisse praetoriam navem 
Antoni properantis circumire et exhortari suos, donec 
transiret in aliam, ideoque Caesariana classis impetu 
maiore protinus venit. tenuit et nostra memoria Gai 

4 principis ab Astura Antium renavigantis. ut res est, 1 
etiam auspicalis pisciculus, siquidem novissime tum 
in urbem reversus ille imperator suis telis confossus 
est, nec longa fuit illius morae admiratio, statim causa 
intellecta, cum e tota classe quinqueremis sola non 
proficeret, exilientibus protinus qui quaererent circa 
navem. invenere adhaerentem gubernaculo osten- 
deruntque Gaio indignanti hoc fuisse quod se revo- 
caret quadringentorumque remigum obsequio contra 

5 se intercederet. constabat peculiariter miratum, 
quomodo adhaerens tenuisset nec idem polleret in 
navigium receptus. qui tunc posteaque videre eum, 
limaci magnae similem esse dicunt. nos plurium 
opiniones posuimus in natura aquatilium, cum de eo 
diceremus, nec dubitamus idem valere omnia ea 2 
genera, cum celebri et consecrato etiam exemplo 
apud Cnidiam Venerem conchas quoque esse eius- 

6 dem potentiae credi necesse sit. e nostris quidam 
Latine moram appellavere eum, mirumque, e Graecis 

1 ut res est B, Mayhoff. 

2 ea B, Mayhoff: om. ceteri codd. 

a See IX. § 79. 

6 That is: " delay." It has none of the powers ascribed to 
it by Pliny. 

466 



BOOK XXXII. i. 3-6 

How futile a creature is man, seeing that those rams. 
armed for striking with bronze and iron, can be 
checked and held fast by a little fish six inches long ! 
It is said that at the battle of Actium the fish stopped 
the flagship of Antonius, who was hastening to go 
round and encourage his men, until he changed his 
ship for another one, and so the fleet of Caesar at 
once made a more violent attack. Within our 
memory the fish stayed the ship of the Emperor 
Gaius as he was sailing back from Astura to Antium. 
As it turned out, the little fish also proved ominous, 
because very soon after that Emperor's return to 
Rome on this occasion he was stabbed by his own 
men. This delay caused no long surprise, for the 
reason was immediately discovered ; of the whole 
fleet the quinquereme alone making no progress, 
men at once dived and swam round the ship to trace 
the cause. They found this fish sticking to the 
rudder and showed it to Gaius, who w&s furious that 
it had been such a thing that was keeping him back 
and vetoing the obedience to himself of four hundred 
rowers. It was agreed that what astonished him in 
particular was how the fish had stopped him by 
sticking to the outside, yet when inside the ship it 
had not the same power. Those who saw the fish 
then or afterwards say that it is like a large slug. 
I have given a the views of the majority in my 
account of water creatures, where I discussed the 
fish, and I do not doubt all this kind of fish have the 
same power, since there is a famous and even divinely 
sanctioned example in the temple of the Cnidian 
Venus, where snails too, we are forced to believe, 
have the same potency. Of the Roman authorities 
some have given this fish the Latin name of mora, b 

467 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

alii lubricos partus atque procidentes continere x ad 
maturitatem adalligatum, 2 ut diximus, prodiderunt, 
alii sale adservatum adalligatumque gravidis partus 
solvere, ob id alio nomine odinolyten appellari. quo- 
cumque modo ista se habent, quis ab hoc tenendi 
navigia exemplo de ulla potentia naturae vique et 
effectu in remediis sponte nascentium rerum dubitet ? 

II. Quid ? non et sine hoc exemplo per se satis 
esset ex eodem mari torpedo? etiam procul et e 
longinquo, vel si hasta virgave attingatur, quamvis 
praevalidos lacertos torpescere, quamlibet ad cursum 
veloces alligari pedes ? quod si necesse habemus 
fateri hoc exemplo esse vim aliquam, quae odore 
tantum et quadam aura corporis sui adficiat membra, 
quid non de remediorum omnium momentis speran- 
dum est? 

III. Non sunt minus mira quae de lepore marino 
traduntur. venenum est aliis in potu aut cibo datus, 
aliis etiam visu, siquidem gravidae, si omnino ad- 
spexerint feminam ex eo genere dumtaxat, statim 
nausiant et redundatione stomachi vitium fatentur 3 
ac deinde abortum faciunt. remedio est mas ob id 
induratus sale, ut in bracchialibus habeant. eadem 
res in mari ne tactu quidem nocet. vescitur eo 
unum tantum animalium, ut non intereat, mullus 
piscis ; tenerescit tantum et inertior 4 viliorque fit. 

1 continere B, Mayhoff: contineri ceteri codd. 

2 adalligatum Mayhoff: adalligato B: adalligato eo plerique 
codd., Detlefsen. 

3 nausiam et redundationem stomachi vomitu fatentur 
coni. Mayhoff. 

4 inertior B 1 , Ianus, Mayhoff: ingratior codd. vulg., 
Detlefsen. 

a See IX. § 79. 

b Thatis: " deliverer from birth-pangs." 
468 



BOOK XXXII. i. 6 iii. 8 

and a marvel is told by some Greeks, wlio have related, 
as I have said, a that worn as an amulet it arrests mis- 
carriage, and by reducing procidence of the uterus 
allows the foetus to reach maturity ; others say that 
preserved in salt and worn as an amulet it delivers 
pregnant women, this being the reason why another 
name, odinolytes, h is given to it. However these 
things may be, would anybody after this instance of 
staying a ship's course entertain doubts about any 
power, force, and efficacy of nature, to be found in 
remedies from things that grow spontaneously ? 

II. But surely, even without this example, evidence 
enough by itself could be found in the electric-ray, 
which also is a sea creature. Even at a distance, 
and that a long distance, or if it is touched with a 
spear or rod, to think that the strongest arms are 
numbed, feet as swift in racing as you like are 
paralysed ! But if this example forces us to confess 
that there is a force which by smell alone, and by 
what I may call the breath from the creature's body, 
so affects our limbs, what limits are there to our hopes 
based on the potency of all remedies ? 

III. No less wonderful things are related of the 
sea-hare. To some it is poison if given in drink or 
food, to others if merely seen, since pregnant women, 
if they have but looked at one, the female, that is, 
of the species, at once feel nausea, show by regurgita- 
tion signs of a disordered stomach, and then miscarry. 
The remedy is a male specimen, specially hardened 
for this purpose with salt, to be worn in a bracelet. 
In the sea, however, it does not hurt, even by touch. 
There feeds on it without being killed one creature 
only, red mullet, which merely becomes flabby, more 
insipid, and coarser. Struck by it a human being 

469 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

9 homines, quibus inpactus est, piscem olent ; hoc 
primo argumento veneficium id deprehenditur. 
cetero moriuntur totidem in diebus, quot vixerit 
lepus, incertique temporis veneficium id esse auctor 
est Licinius Macer. in India adfirmant non capi 
viventem invicemque ibi hominem illi pro veneno 
esse ac vel digito omnino in mari tactum mori, esse 
autem multo ampliorem, sicuti reliqua animalia. 

10 IV. Iuba in iis voluminibus, quaes cripsit ad C. Cae- 
sarem Aug. f. de Arabia, tradit mitulos ternas 
heminas capere, cetos sescentorum pedum longi- 
tudinis et trecentorum sexaginta latitudinis in flumen 
Arabiae intrasse, pinguique eius mercatores negoti- 
atos, et omnium piscium adipe camelos perungui in 
eo situ, ut asilos ab iis fugent odore. 

11 V. Mihi videntur mira et quae Ovidius prodidit 
piscium ingenia in eo volumine, quod halieuticon in- 
scribitur : scarum inclusum nassis non fronte erum- 
pere nec infestis viminibus caput inserere, sed aver- 
sum caudae ictibus crebris laxare fores atque ita 
retrorsum repere, quem luctatum eius si forte alius 
scarus extrinsecus videat, adprehensa mordicus cauda 
adiuvare nisus erumpentis ; lupum rete circumdatum 

12 harenas arare cauda atque ita condi dumtranseatrete ; 
murenam maculas adpetere ipsas consciam teretis ac 
lubrici tergi, tum multiplici flexu laxare, donec eva- 
dat ; polypum hamos adpetere bracchiisque com- 



a Or, perhaps better: " In India they say that etc." 
6 I.e. " On fishing." 



470 



BOOK XXXII. iii. 9-v. 12 

smells of fish ; this is the first symptom by which such 
poisoning is detected. Furthermore, the victims die 
in the same number of days as the hare has lived, and 
Licinius Macer is authority for saying that this 
poison has variable periods for its action. They say 
that in India a the sea-hare is never caught alive ; 
and that inversely man is there poisonous to the hare ; 
that even a mere touch of a human fmger in the sea 
is fatal to it ; but that like all other animals the Indian 
variety is far larger. 

IV. In those volumes about Arabia which he 
dedicated to Gaius Caesar, the son of Augustus, 
Juba related that there are mussels there with shells 
holding three heminae ; that a whale 600 feet long 
and 360 feet broad entered a river of Arabia ; that 
merchants did a trade with its blubber ; and that 
camels in that district are rubbed all over with the 
fat of any fish, so that gad-flies may be kept away 
by the smell. 

V. Wonderful too appear to me the characters of 
fishes given by Ovid in his book entitled Halieuticon : b 
how the scarus, caught in a weel, does not burst out 
to the front, or thrust his head through the osiers 
that imprison him, but turns round, widens the gaps 
with repeated blows of his tail, and so creeps back- 
wards. If by chance his struggles are seen by 
another scarus outside, he seizing the other's tail with 
his teeth helps the efforts to burst out. The basse, 
he says, when surrounded by a net, ploughs a hole in 
the sand with his tail, and so is buried until the net 
passes over him. He says too that the murena, 
knowing that his back is rounded and slippery, attacks 
the meshes themselves, and then by involved 
wriggling widens them until he escapes ; that the 

47 1 



PLINY. NATURAL HISTORY 

plecti, non morsu, nec prius dimittere, quam escam 
circumroserit, aut harundine levatum extra aquam. 
scit et mugil esse in esca hamum insidiasque non 
ignorat, aviditas tamen tanta est, ut cauda verber- 

13 ando excutiat cibum. minus in providendo lupus 
sollertiae habet, sed magnum robur in paenitendo. 
nam ut * haesit in hamo tumultuoso discursu laxat 
volnera, donec excidant insidiae. murenae amplius 
devorant quam hamum, admovent dentibus lineas 
atque ita erodunt. anthias 2 tradit idem infixo hamo 
invertere se, quoniam sit in dorso cultellata spina, 
eaque liniam praesecare. 

14 Licinius Macer murenas feminini tantum sexus 
esse tradit et concipere e serpentibus, ut diximus ob 
id sibilo a piscatoribus tamquam a serpentibus evo- 
cari et capi. 3 . . . et pinguescere, iactato fusti non 
interemi, easdem ferula protinus. animam in cauda 
habere certum est eaque icta celerrime exanimari, ad 
capitis ictum difficulter. novacula pisce qui attacti 
sunt, ferrum olent. durissimum esse piscium constat 
qui orbis vocetur ; rotundus est, sine squamis totus- 
que capite constat. 

15 VI. Trebius Niger xiphian, id est gladium, rostro 
mucronato esse, ab hoc naves perfossas mergi ; in 
oceano ad locum Mauretaniae, qui Cottae vocetur, 
non procul Lixo rlumine idem lolligines evolare ex 
aqua tradit tanta multitudine, ut navigia demergant. 

1 ut multi codd. : si in B 1 : si ut B 2 Sillig : is, ut Mayhoff. 
- anthias Urlichs, Detlefsen, Mayhoff: varia codd. 
3 Hic Mayhoff lacunam esse coni. 



a See IX. § 76. 

472 



BOOK XXXII. v. 12-vi. 15 

polypus attacks the hook, grips it with his tentacles, 
not teeth, and does not let it go before he has nibbled 
round the bait, or been lift.ed out of the water by the 
rod. The mugil too knows that in the bait is a hook, 
and is quite aware of the trap ; his greed however is 
so great that by lashing with his tail he knocks off 
the food. The basse has less cunning insight, but 
great strength when he realizes his mistake. For 
when caught on the hook he dashes about wildly, 
widening the wounds until the snare is torn out. 
The murena swallows more than the hook, applies 
the line to his teeth, and so gnaws it through. Ovid 
also relates that the anthias, when the hook catches, 
turns over, since on his back is a spine with a knife- 
edge, with which he cuts through the line. 

Licinius Macer relates that the murena is female 
only, and conceives out of serpents, as I have said, a 
and that therefore fishermen whistle in imitation of a 
serpent's call, and so catch the fish, and . . . grow fat; 
that a club hurled at them does not kill, but fennel- 
giant kills at once. It is certain that the seat of life 
is in their tail , for if this is struck they very quickly 
die, but it is dimcult to kill them by blows on the head. 
Those touched by the razor-fish smell of iron. It is 
a well-known fact that the hardest fish is the orbis, 
which is round, without scales, and all head. b 

VI. Trebius Xiger tells us that the xiphias, that is 
the sword-fish, has a pointed beak, by which ships 
are pierced and sunk ; in the open sea, off the place 
in Mauretania called Cottae, not far from the river 
Lixus, the same authority tells us that the lolligo 
flies out of the water in such numbers as to sink a 

* The repetition of constat in different senses is very awk- 
ward ; it is an instance of " unconscious repetition." 

473 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Lolligo quotiens cernatur extra aquam volitans, 
tempestates mutari. 1 

16 VII. E manu vescuntur pisces in pluribus quidem 
Caesaris villis, sed — quae veteres prodidere in stagnis, 
non piscinis, admirati — in Heloro Siciliae castello non 
procul Syracusis, item in Labrayndi Iovis fonte 
anguillae et inaures additas gerunt, similiter in Chio 
iuxta Senum delubrum, in Mesopotamiae quoque 
fonte Chabura, de quo diximus, pisces. 

17 VIII. Nam in Lycia Myris in fonte Apollinis, quem 
Curium appellant, ter fistula vocati veniunt ad 
augurium. diripere eos carnes abiectas laetum est 
consultantibus, caudis abigere dirum. Hieropoli 
Syriae in lacu Veneris aedituorum vocibus parent, 
vocati veniunt exornati auro, adulantes scalpuntur, 
ora hiantia manibus inserendis praebent. in Stabiano 
Campaniae ad Herculis petram melanuri in mari 
panem abiectum rapiunt, iidem ad nullum cibum, in 
quo hamus sit, accedunt. 

18 IX. Nec illa in novissimis mira, amaros esse pisces 
ad Pelen insulam et ad Clazomenas, contra scopulum 
Siciliae 2 ac Leptim Africae et Euboeam et Durra- 
chium, rursus ita salsos, ut possint salsamenta existu- 
mari, circa Cephallaniam et Ampelon, Paron et Deli 
petras, in portu eiusdem insulae dulces. quam 

19 differentiam pabulo constare non est dubium. Apion 

1 lolligo . . . mutari post demergant transfert Mayhoff, qui 
nuntiari pro mutari coni. 

2 Siciliae codd., Mayhoff: Scyllae Urlichs, Detlefsen. 

u The last sentence is transferred to this place from the end 
of § 14 by Mayhoff (not in his text), who also reads nuntiari, 
that is: '' storms are indicated." 

474 



BOOK XXXII. vi. 15-ix. 19 

vessel. Whenever the lolligo, he says, is seen flying 
out of the water a changc of wcather occurs. 

VII. In several country seats indeed of the 
Emperor fisli eat out of the hand, but— what our old 
writers have recorded with wonder as occurring in 
natural pools, not fish-ponds — at Helorus, a fortress 
of Sicily not far from Syracuse, and likewise in the 
spring of Jupiter of Labraynda, the eels even wear 
ear-rings, as do the fishes in Chios near the Shrine of 
the Old Men, and in the spring Chabura also in 
Mesopotamia, about which I have spoken. 6 

VIII. But at Myra in Lycia in the spring of 
Apollo called Curium, when summoned three times 
by the pipe the fishes come to give oracular responses. 
For the fish to snap at the meat thrown to them is a 
happy augury for enquirers, to cast it aside with 
their tails an augury of disaster. At Hieropolis in 
Syria the fish in the pond of Yenus obey the voice of 
the temple ministers ; they come at their call 
adorned with gold, fawning to be scratched, and 
offer gaping mouths to receive their hands. At 
Stabiae in Campania at the Rock of Hercules the 
melanuri in the sea seize the bread thrown to them, 
but they will not go near any food in which is a hook. 

IX. Nor are these the last among the marvels we 
know of fishes : that they are bitter near the island 
of Pele and near Clazomenae, over against the rock 
of Sicily, c Leptis in Africa, Euboea, and Dyrrhachium ; 
and again, so salt that they might be thought pickled, 
off Cephallania, Ampelos, Paros and the rocks of 
Delos ; while in the harbour of Delos they are sweet. 
These differences depend without a doubt on the 

6 See XXXI. § 37. 

c I.e. Scylla, which has been conjectured for Sicilia. 

475 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

piscium maximum x esso tradit porcum, quem Lace- 
daemoni orthagoriseum vocent ; grunnire eum, cum 
capiatur. esse vero illam naturae accidentiam — 
quod magis miremur — etiam in locis quibusdam, 
adposito occurrit exemplo, siquidem salsamenta 
omnium generum in Italia Beneventi refici constat. 

20 X. Pisces marinos in usu fuisse protinus a condita 
Roma auctor est Cassius Hemina, cuius verba de ea 
re subiciam : Numa constituit ut pisces, qui squamosi 
non essent, ni pollucerent, parsimonia commentus, ut 
convivia publica et privata cenaeque ad pulvinaria 
faeilius compararentur, ni qui ad polluctum emerent 
pretio minus parcerent eaque praemercarentur. 

21 XI. Quantum apud nos Indicis margaritis pretium 
est, de quis suo loco satis diximus, tantum apud Indos 
curalio ; namque ista persuasione gentium constant. 2 
gignitur et in Rubro quidem mari, sed nigrius, item 
in Persico — vocatur lace — laudatissimum in Gallico 
sinu circa Stoechadas insulas et in Siculo circa Aeolias 
ac Drepana. nascitur et apud Graviscas et ante 
Neapolim Campaniae ; maximeque rubens, sed molle 

22 et ideo vilissimum Erythris. forma est ei fruticis, 
colos viridis. bacae eius candidae sub aqua ac molles, 
exemptae confestim durantur et rubescunt qua corna 

1 maximum codd. : maxime mirum Mayhoff, qui notam 
addit: "aw excidit (ante Apion) alterum exemplum piscis 
aliquo loco non muti? " 

2 constant multi codd. : constat BV : ita . . . constat in 
Appendice MayJwff. 



■' With Mayhoffs reading: " most wonderful." 
b An historian who fiourished about 140 b.c. 
e See IX. § 104 foll. 

d This phrase is generally taken with the preceding clause. 
The punctuation is mine. 

476 



BOOK XXXII. ix. 19-xi. 22 

food. Apion tells us that the largest a of the fishes 
is the pig-fish, which the Lacedaemonians call ortha- 
goriscus, saying that it grunts when it is caught. 
That this accident of nature, however (to increase our 
wonder), is also met with in certain localities, is sug- 
gested by a ready example, seeing that salted foods 
of every kind, as is well known, at Beneventum in 
Italy have to be resalted. 

X. That sea fish were commonly eaten immediately 
after the foundation of Rome is told us by Cassius 
Hemina, b whose very words on the subject I will 
quote here. " Numa ordained that scaleless fish 
should not be provided at sacrificial meals, being in- 
duced by reasons of economy, so that provision could 
be more easily made for public and private banquets 
and for feasts of the gods, to prevent caterers on 
those sacred occasions from being extravagant and 
buying up the market." 

XI. Coral is as valuable among the Indians as 
Indian pearls, about which I have spoken c in their 
proper place, are among the Romans, for cost varies 
with the demand of any particular people. Coral is 
also found in the Red Sea, but this is of a darker 
colour ; also in the Persian Gulf — this is called lace — 
the most valued is in the Gallic Gulf around the 
Stoechades Islands, in the Sicilian Gulf around the 
Aeolian Islands, and around Drepana. Coral also 
grows at Graviscae and before Naples in Campania ; 
but that at Erythrae, which is very red indeed, d is soft 
and therefore thought worthless. 

In shape coral is like a shrub, and its colour is green. 
Its berries are white under the water and soft ; 
when taken out they immediately harden and grow 
red, being like, in appearance and size, to those of 

477 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sativa specie atque magnitudine. aiunt tactu pro- 
tinus lapidescere, si vivat ; itaque occupari evellique 
retibus aut acri ferramento praecidi, qua de causa 
curalium vocitatum interpretantur, probatissimum 
quam maxime rubens et quam ramosissimum nec 
scabiosum aut lapideum aut rursus inane et concavum. 

23 auctoritas bacarum eius non minus Indorum viris 
quoque pretiosa est quam feminis nostris uniones 
Indici. harispices eorum vatesque inprimis retigio- 
sum id gestamen amoliendis periculis arbitrantur. 
ita et decore et religione gaudent. prius quam hoc 
notesceret, Galli gladios, scuta, galeas, adornabant 
eo. nunc tanta paenuria est vendibili merce, ut per- 

24 quam raro cernatur in suo orbe. surculi infantiae 
adalligati tutelam habere creduntur, contraque tor- 
minum ac vesicae et calculorum mala in pulverem 
igni redacti potique cum aqua auxiliantur, simili 
modo ex vino poti aut, si febris sit, ex aqua somnum 
adferunt — ignibus diu repugnat J — sed eodem medi- 
camine saepius poto tradunt lienem quoque absumi. 
sanguinem reicientibus excreantibusve medetur cinis 
eorum ; miscetur oculorum medicamentis, spissat 
enim ac refrigerat, ulcerum cava explet, cicatrices 
extenuat. 

2.5 XII. Quod ad repugnantiam rerum attinet, quam 
Graeci antipathian vocant, nihil est usquam venena- 
tius quam in mari pastinaca, utpote cum radio eius 
arbores necari dixerimus. hanc tamen persequitur 

1 " an ignibus diu repugnat pertinet ad finem § 22 post con- 
cavum? " Mayhoff. 

a Greek Ketpoj, I cut. b See § 23. 

e The reason for the proposed transposition is the sudden 
change from plural to singular (creduntur, auxiliantur, ad- 
ferunt, repugnat). 

47 8 



BOOK XXXII. xi. 22-xii. 25 

cultivated cornel. It is said that at a touch it imme- 
diately petrifies, if it lives ; and that therefore it is 
quickly seized and pulled away in nets or cut off by a 
sharp iron instrument. In this way they explain its 
name " coral." ° The most valued coral is the reddest 
and most branehy, without being rough or stony. or 
again empty and hollow. Coral berries are no less 
valued by Indian men than are large Indian pearls by 
Roman women. Indian soothsayers and seers think 
that coral is a very powerful amulet b for warding off 
dangers. Accordingly they take pleasure in it both 
as a thing of beauty and as a thing of religious power. 
Before the Indian love of coral became known, the 
Gauls used to ornament with coral their swords, 
shields, and helmets. At the present day it has 
become so scarce because of the price it will fetch that 
it is very rarely to be seen in the countries where it 
grows. Branches of coral, worn as an amulet by 
babies, are believed to be protective, and reduced to 
powder by fire and taken with water are helpful in 
gripings, bladder trouble and stone ; similarly, taken 
in wine, or, if fever is present, in water, coral is 
soporific. Coral resists fire for a long time, c but they 
say also that taken in drink repeatedly as medicine it 
consumes the spleen. The ash of coral branches is 
good treatment for bringing up or spitting of blood. 
It is a component of eye salves, for it is astringent and 
cooling, fills up the hollows of ulcers, and smooths out 
scars. 

XII. As to the hostility between things, which the 
Greeks call antipathia, there is nowhere anything 
more venomous than the sting-ray in the sea, since 
we have said d that by its ray trees are killed. The 

d See IX. § 155. 

479 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

galeos, idem et alios quidem pisces, sed pastinacas 
praecipue, sicut in terra mustela serpentes — tanta 
est avidatas ipsius veneni — percussis vero ab ea 
medentur et hic quidem, sed et mullus ac laser, 

26 XIII. spectabili naturae potentia, in iis quoque, qui- 
bus et in terris victus est, sicut fibris, quos castoras 
vocant et castorea testes eorum. amputari hos ab 
ipsis, cum capiantur, negat Sextius diligentissimus 
medicinae, quin immo parvos esse substrictosque 
et adhaerentes spinae, nec adimi sine vita animalis 
posse; adulterari autem renibus eiusdem, qui sint 
grandes cum veri testes parvi admodum reperiantur ; 

27 praeterea ne vesicas quidem esse, cum sint geminae, 
quod nulli animalium ; in iis folliculis inveniri x 
liquorem et adservari sale ; itaque inter probationes 
falsi esse folliculos geminos ex uno nexu depen- 
dentes, quod ipsum corrumpi fraude conicientium 
cummin cum sanguine aut Hammoniacum, quoniam 
Hammoniaci coloris esse debeant, circumdati liquore 
veluti mellis cerosi, odore graves, gustu amaro et 
acri, friabiles. efficacissimi e Ponto Galatiaque, mox 

28 Africa. sternumenta olfactu movent. somnum con- 
ciliant cum rosaceo et peucedano peruncto capite et 
per se poti ex aqua, ob id phreneticis utiles ; iidem 

1 " loctis adhuc corruptus videtur ; exspectaveris potius ne 
vesicam quidem (sc. communem) esse, cum sint gemini folli- 
culi . . . in iis inven iri sqq. cfr. Diosc." Mayhoff. 

a The plural (efficacissimi, movent, etc.) is due to testes, but 
it seems more natural in English to use the singular, referring 
to castoreum. 

480 



BOOK XXXII. xii. 25-xm. 28 

galeos however chases the sting-ray, and also indeed 
other fishes, but the sting-ray in particular, just as 
on land the weasel chases serpents, so great is its 
greed for the very poison itself. Those however 
stung by the sting-ray find good treatment in the 
galeos, as well as in red mullet and laser. 

XIII. Equally remarkable is the might of Nature 
in those creatures also which are amphibious, such as 
the beaver, which they call castor and its testes 
castoreum. Sextius, a very careful inquirer into 
medical subjects, denies that the beaver himself bites 
off his own testes when it is being captured ; he says 
that on the contrary these are small, tightly knit, 
attached to the spine, and not to be taken away with- 
out destroying the creature's life. Castoreum 
(beaver-oil) he says is however adulterated by 
beaver's kidneys, which are large, while the real 
testes are found to be very small. Moreover, they 
cannot even be the creature's bladders, for they are 
twin, and no animal has two bladders. In these 
pouches (he goes on) is found a liquid, which is 
preserved in salt. Accordingly one of the tests of 
fraud is whether two pouches hang down from one 
connection, while the liquid itself is adulterated by 
adding to it cummin and beaver blood or amrnonia- 
cum, because the testes ought to be of the colour of 
ammoniacum, coated with a liquid like waxy honey, 
with a strong smell, a bitter taste, and friable. The 
most efficacious castoreum comes a from Pontus and 
Galatia, the next best from Africa. Doctors cause 
sneezing by its smell. It is soporific if the head is 
rubbed all over with beaver oil, rose oil, and peuce- 
danum, or if by itself it is taken in water, for which 
reason it is useful in brain fever. It also arouses, by 

481 

VOL. VIII. R 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lethargieos odoris x suffitu excitant volvarumque 
exanimationes vel subditu, ac menses et secundas 

29 cient II drachmis cum puleio ex aqua poti. meden- 
tur et vertigini, opisthotono, tremulis, spasticis, 
nervorum vitiis, ischiadicis, stomachicis, paralyticis, 
perunctis omnibus, vel triti ad crassitudinem mellis 
cum semine viticis ex aceto ac rosaceo. sic et contra 
comitiales sumpti, poti vero contra inflationes, tor- 
mina, venena. differentia tantum contra genera est 

30 mixturae, quippe adversus scorpiones ex vino bibun- 
tur, adversus phalangia et araneos ex mulso ita, ut 
vomitione reddantur aut ut contineantur cum ruta. 
adversus chalcidas cum myrtite, adversus cerasten et 
presteras cum panace aut ruta ex vino, adversus 
ceteras serpentes cum vino. dari binas drachmas 

31 satis ; eorum, quae adiciantur, singulas. auxiliantur 
privatim contra viscum ex aceto, adversus aconitum 
ex lacte aut aqua, adversus helleborum album ex 
aqua mulsa nitroque. medentur et dentibus infusi 
cum oleo triti in aurem, a cuius parte doleant, 
aurium dolori melius, si cum meconio. claritatem 
visus faciunt cum melle Attico inunctis. cohibent 
singultus ex aceto. urina quoque fibri resistit 
venenis et ob id in antidota additur. adservatur 
autem optume in sua vesica, ut aliqui existumant. 

32 XIV. Geminus similiter victus in aquis terraque 
et testudinum effectusque par, honore habendo vel 
propter excellens in usu pretium figuraeque pro- 
prietatem. sunt ergo testudinum genera terrestres, 

1 odoris] " an odore? " Mayhoff. 

■' See Book XXIX. § 102. 
482 



BOOK XXXII. xiii. 28-xiv. 32 

the smell of fumigation, sufferers from coma and 
hysterical, fainting women, the latter also by a 
pessary ; it is an emmenagogue and brings away the 
after-birth if two drachmae are taken in water with 
pennyroyal. It is also a remedy for vertigo, opis- 
thotonus, palsied tremors, cramps, sinew pains, 
sciatica, stomach troubles, and paralysis ; in all cases 
by rubbing all over, or ground to the consistency of 
honey with seed of vitex in vinegar and rose oil. In 
this form it is taken for epilepsy, but in drink for 
rlatulence, griping and poisons. The only difference 
in its use for the various poisons lies in the ingredients 
with which it is mixed. For scorpion bites it is taken 
in wine ; for the phalangium and other spiders in 
honey wine if it is to be vomited back or with rue if 
it is to be retained ; for the chalcis a with myrtle wine ; 
for the horned asp and prester with panaces or rue in 
wine ; for the bites of other serpents with wine. 
Two drachmae are a sufficient dose, of the other 
ingredients one drachma. It is specific in vinegar for 
mistletoe poisoning, in milk or water for poisoning 
by aconite, for white hellebore in oxymel and soda. 
It also cures toothache if pounded with oil ; it is poured 
into the ear on the side of the pain ; for ear-ache it is 
better mixed with poppy juice. Added to Attic 
honey and used as an ointment it improves the vision. 
In vinegar it checks hiccoughs. Beaver urine, too, 
counteracts poisons, and therefore is added to anti- 
dotes. It is however best preserved, as some think, 
in the beaver's bladder. 

XIV. Like the beaver the tortoise is amphibious, 
and of the same medical properties, distinguished by 
the high price given for its use, and by its peculiar 
shape. So there are various kinds : tortoises that live 

483 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

marinae, lutariae et quae in dulci aqua vivunt. has 

33 quidam e Graecis emydas appellant. Terrestrium 
carnes suffitionibus propriae magicisque artibus 
refutandis et contra venena salutares produntur. 
plurimae in Africa. hae ibi amputato capite pedi- 
busque pro antidoto dari dicuntur et e iure in cibo 
sumptae strumas discutere, lienes tollere, item comi- 
tiales morbos. sanguis earum claritatem visus facit, 
sistit x suffusiones oculorum. et contra serpentium 
omnium et araneorum ac similium et ranarum 
venena auxiliatur servato sanguine in farina pilulis 
factis et, cum opus sit, in vino datis. felle testu- 
dinum cum Attico melle glaucomata inungui prodest, 

34 scorpionum plagae instillari. 2 tegimenti cinis vino 
et oleo subactus pedum rimas ulceraque sanat. 
squamae e summa parte derasae et in potu datae 
venerem cohibent. eo magis hoc mirum, quoniam 
totius tegimenti farina accendere traditur libidinem. 
urinam aliter earum quam in vesica dissectarum in- 
veniri posse non arbitror et inter ea 3 esse hoc quoque, 
quae portentose Magi demonstrant, adversus aspidum 
ictus singularem, efficaciorem tamen, ut aiunt, cimi- 
cibus admixtis. ova durata inlinuntur strumis et 
ulceribus frigore aut adustione factis. sorbentur in 

35 stomachi doloribus. Marinarum carnes admixtae 
ranarum carnibus contra salamandras praeclare 
auxiliantur, neque est testudine aliud salamandrae 

1 sistit Brakman: discutit Mayhoff: in codd. lacuna. 
'-' instillari codd. : instillant Mayhoff. 

3 inter ea codd.: interanea Detlefsen: " locus fortasse non- 
dum sanatus," Mayhoff. 



a Brakman's sistit is perhaps the best supplement of the 
lacuna. 

h Toads are included in ranae. 

484 



BOOK XXXII. xiv. 32-35 

on land, in the sea, in muddy water, and in fresh 
water. The last are called by some Greeks emydes. 

The flesh of the land tortoise is reported to be 
especially useful for fumigations, to keep off magical 
tricks, and to counteract poisons. It is most common 
in Africa. There the flesh of this tortoise, with its 
head and feet cut off, is said to be given as an antidote, 
and taken in its broth as food to disperse scrofulous 
sores, to reduce the spleen, and to cure epilepsy. 
The blood clarifies the vision and arrests a cataract. 
For the poisons of all serpents, spiders and similar 
creatures, and of frogs, & it is of service ; the blood is 
preserved in flour, made up into pills, and given in 
wine when necessary. It is beneficial to use the gall 
of tortoises with Attic honey as an eye-wash for 
opaqueness of the lens, and to drop it c into the 
wounds made by scorpions. The shell, reduced to 
ash and kneaded with wine and oil, heals chaps and 
sores on the feet. Shavings from the top of the shell 
and given in drink are antaphrodisiac. This is all the 
more surprising because the whole shell, reduced to 
powder, is said to incite to lust. The urine of this 
tortoise, I believe, is found only in the bladder of 
dissected animals, and this is one of the substances 
to which the Magi give supernatural virtues as being 
specific for the bites of asps ; a more efficacious one, 
however, they say, if bugs are added. The eggs are 
applied hard boiled to scrofulous sores, frost bites and 
burns. They are swallowed for pains in the stomach. 

The flesh of sea tortoises mixed with that of frogs 
is an excellent remedy for salamander bites, and 
nothing is more opposed to the salamander than the 

c If a comma is placed at prodest the instillari of the MSS. 
can perhaps be kept with fel as its understood subject. 

485 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

adversius. sanguine alopeciarum inanitas et porrigo 
omniaque capitis ulcera curantur ; inarescere eum 
oportet lenteque ablui. instillatur et dolori aurium 
cum lacte mulierum. adversus morbos comitiales 
manditur cum polline frumenti, miscetur autem san- 

36 guinis x heminis tribus aceti hemina. datur et sus- 
piriosis, sed tum hemina vini additur ; 2 his et cum 
hordeacea farina, aceto quoque admixto, ut sit quod 
devoretur fabae magnitudine ; et haec singula et 
matutina et vespera dantur, dein post aliquot dies 
bina vespera. comitialibus instillatur ore diducto ; 3 
iis, qui modice corripiantur spasmo, cum castoreo 

37 clystere infunditur. quod si dentes ter annis 4 col- 
luantur testudinum sanguine, immunes a dolore fiant. 
et anhelitus discutit quasque orthopnoeas vocant ; 
ad has in polenta datur. fel testudinum claritatem 
oculorum facit, cicatrices extenuat, tonsillas sedat 
et anginas et omnia oris vitia, privatim nomas ibi, 
item testium. naribus inlitum comitiales erigit attol- 
litque. idem cum vernatione anguium aceto ad- 
mixto unice purulentis auribus prodest. quidam 
bubulum fel admiscent decoctarum 5 carnium testu- 

38 dinis suco, addita aeque vernatione anguium ; sed 
vino testudinem excocunt. oculorum utique vitia 
omnia fel inunctum cum melle emendat, suffusiones 

1 tum Ianus, Mayhoff: cum B SiUig, Mayhoff. 

2 additur B, Sillig, Mayhoff: addito VRdT, Hard.: coni. 
sed cum hemina vini. manditur his et Mayhoff. 

3 diducto B, Gelenius : diducis VR : deductis E, vulg. 

4 annis VRf, Io. Mullcr : minis B : coni. heminis Mayhoff. 

5 decoctarum Mayhoff: decoctarumve (decoctarumque) 
codd. 

486 



BOOK XXXII. xiv. 35-38 

tortoise. Its blood is good treatment for the bare 
patches of mange, for dandruff, and for all sores on 
the head ; it should be allowed to dry and then gently 
washed ofF. With woman's milk it is poured by drops 
into aching ears. For epilepsy it is taken with 
wheaten flour, but three heminae of blood are diluted 
with one hemina of vinegar. It is also given for 
asthma, but with a hemina of wine added ; for this 
purpose also with barley flour, vinegar too being 
added, so that the dose to be swallowed is the size of 
a bean. One of these doses is given morning and 
evening ; then after a few days a double dose is given 
in the evening. The mouths of epileptics are opened 
and the blood poured by drops into them ; to those 
seized with a slight convulsion is given an enema of 
the blood and beaver oil. If teeth are rinsed with 
tortoise blood three times a year ° they will become 
immune to toothache. It is a remedy too for short- 
ness of breath and for what is called orthopnoea ; 
when so used it is administered in pearl barley. 
Tortoise gall gives clearness of vision, effaces scars, 
relieves sore tonsils, quinsy, and all diseases of 
the mouth, being specific for malignant sores there 
and on the testicles. If the nostrils are smeared 
with it, epileptics are roused and made to stand up. 
The gall too with snakes' slough and vinegar is also a 
sovereign remedy for pus in the ears. Some mix ox 
gall with the broth of boiled tortoise-flesh, adding the 
same amount of snakes' slough, but they boil the 
tortoise in wine. An application of the gall with 
honey cures especially all affections of the eyes ; 
cataract is also cured by the gall of sea tortoise with 

a If we adopt MayhofiTs attractive emendation : " three 
times with a hemina." 

487 



PLINY: NATIRAL HISTORY 

etiam marinae fel cum fluviatilis sanguine et lacte. 
capillus mulierum inficitur felle. contra sala- 

39 mandras vel sucum decoctae bibisse satis est. Ter- 
tium genus testudinum est in caeno et paludibus 
viventium. latitudo his et in dorso pectori similis nec 
convexo curvata calice, ingrata visu. ex hac quoque 
tamen aliqua contingunt auxilia. tres namque in 
succensa sarmenta coiectae dividentibus se tegu- 
mentis rapiuntur, tum evolsae carnes earum cocuntur 
in congio aquae sale modice addito ; ita decoctarum 
ad tertias partes sucus paralysim et articularios mor- 
bos sentientibus bibitur. detrahit idem fel pituitas 
sanguinemque vitiatum. sistitur eo remedio alvus 

40 aquae frigidae potu. E quarto genere testudinum, 
quae sunt in amnibus, divolsarum pinguia cum aizoo 
herba tunsa admixto un guento et semine lili, si ante 
accessiones perunguantur aegri praeter caput, mox 
convoluti calidam aquam bibant, quartanis liberare 
dicuntur. hanc testudinem xv luna capi oportere, 
ut plus pinguium reperiatur, verum aegrum xvi luna 
perungui. ex eodem genere testudinum sanguis in- 
stillatus cerebro capitis dolores sedat, item strumas. 

41 sunt qui testudinum sanguinem cultro aereo supin- 
arum capitibus praecisis excipi novo fictili iubeant, 
ignem sacrum cuiuscumque generis sanguine inlini, 
item capitis ulcera manantia, verrucas. iidem pro- 



a Evidently the Magi, but for some reason Pliny withholds 
the name. 



BOOK XXXII. xiv. 38-41 

the blood of river tortoise and milk. Womans hair 
is dyed by the gall. For salamander bites it is 
enough merely to drink the broth of a decoction. 

A third kind of tortoise lives in mud and marshes. 
These have a level width, like that across the breast, 
over the back also ; this is not rounded into a cup- 
like convexity — indeed an unpleasant sight. Yet 
from this creature also a few remedies are obtained. 
For three are together thrown on burning brush- 
wood, and when the shells separate they are at once 
taken ofF; the flesh is then torn away and boiled in a 
congius of water with a little salt added. The broth 
is boiled down to one third and taken for paralysis 
and diseases of the joints. The gall of this creature 
carries off phlegms and vitiated blood. This remedy 
taken in cold water acts astringently on the bowels. 

There is a fourth kind of tortoise, which lives in 
rivers. The shells being torn off, the fats are beaten 
up with houseleek mixed with unguent and lily seed. 
If of a patient all the body except the head is rubbed 
with this preparation before the paroxysms come on, 
and he is then wrapped up and drinks hot water, he is 
cured, it is said, of quartan ague. This tortoise, they 
say, should be killed on the fifteenth of the moon, so 
that more fats may be obtained from it, but the 
patient should be rubbed on the sixteenth. The 
blood too of this kind of tortoise, poured in drops on 
the skull, relieves headache as well as scrofulous sores. 
There are some a who recommend tortoises to be laid 
on their backs, their heads chopped off with a bronze 
knife, and the blood caught in new earthenware ; this 
blood is to be used as embrocation for all kinds of 
erysipelas, running sores on the head, and warts. 
The same authorities assure us that the dung of all 

489 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mittunt testudinum omnium fimo panos discuti ; et, 
quod incredibile dictu sit, aliqui tradunt tardius ire 
navigia testudinis pedem dextrum vehentia. 

42 XV. Hinc dcinde in morbos digeremus aquatilia, 
non quia ignoremus gratiorem esse universitatem 
animalium maiorisque miraculi, sed hoc utilius est 
vitae, contributa habere remedia, cum aliud alii 
prosit, aliud alibi facilius inveniatur. 

43 XVI. Venenatum mel diximus ubi nasceretur. 
auxilio est piscis aurata in cibo. vel si ex melle 
sincero fastidium cruditasve, quae fit gravissima, 
incidat, testudinem circumcisis pedibus, capite, cauda 
decoctam antidotum esse auctor est Pelops, scincum 
Apelles. quid esset scincus diximus, saepius vero 

44 quantum veneficii in menstruis mulierum. contra ea 
omnia auxiliatur, ut diximus, mullus, item contra 
pastinacam et scorpiones terrestres marinosque et 
dracones, phalangia inlitus sumptusve in cibo, eius- 
dem recentis e capite cinis contra omnia venena, 
privatim contra fungos. mala medicamenta inferri 
negant posse aut certe nocere stella marina volpino 
sanguine inlita et adfixa limini superiori aut clavo 
aereo ianuae. 

45 XVII . draconis marini scorpionumque ictus carni- 
bus earum inpositis, item araneorum morsus sanantur. 
in summa contra omnia venena vel potu vel ictu vel 
morsu noxia sucus earum e iure decoctarum efficacissi- 

a See XXI. § 74 foll. 

6 See VIII. § 91 and XXVIII. § 119. 

c See VII. § 64 and XXVIII. § 82. 

490 



BOOK XXXII. xiv. 41-xvii. 45 

tortoises disperses superficial abscesses ; and others 
tell us (an incredible remark) that vessels travel more 
slowlv if the right foot of a tortoise is on board. 

XV. From now on I will arrange water creatures 
according to diseases, not that I do not know that a 
complete account of each living thing is more attrac- 
tive and more wonderful, but it is more useful to 
mankind to have remedies grouped into classes, since 
thev vary with individuals, and are more easily found 
in one place than in another. 

XVI. I have already said a where poisonous honey 
is found. A remedy is the gilthead fish taken in 
food. But if pure honey should cause nausea, or 
indigestion that becomes very acute, an antidote is, 
according to Pelops, the decoction of a tortoise with 
the feet, head, and tail cut off; according to Apelles, 
a similar decoction of a scincus ; I have said what a 
scincus is. b Several times moreover I have said how 
poisonous is the menstrual fluid of women ; c against 
all forms of it, as I have said, the red mullet is a help, 
as it is against the sting-ray, land- and sea-scorpions, 
the weever fish, and poisonous spiders. It may be 
applied locally or taken in food. A fresh red mullet's 
head, reduced to ash, is an antidote to all poisons, 
being specific against poisonous fungi. They say 
that noxious charms cannot enter, or at least cannot 
harm, homes where a star-fish, smeared with the 
blood of a fox, has been fastened to the upper lintel 
or to the door with a bronze nail. 

XVII. By an application of tortoise flesh are healed 
the stings of weever fish, of scorpions, and also the 
bites of spiders. To sum up : the gravy of tortoise 
meat, that is, the broth obtained by boiling it down. 
is considered to be a most emcacious antidote for all 

49 1 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

mus habetur. sunt et servatis piscibus medicinae, 
salsamentorumque cibus prodest a serpente percussis 
et contra bestiarum ictus mero subinde hausto ita, ut 
per se etiam * cibus vomitione reddatur, peculiariter 

46 a chalcide, ceraste aut quas sepas vocant aut elope, 
dispsade percussis. contra scorpionem largius sumi, 
sed non evomi, salsamenta prodest ita, ut sitis tolere- 
tur ; et inponere plagis eadem convenit. contra 
crocodilorum quidem morsus non aliud praesentius 
habetur. privatim contra presteris morsum sarda 
prodest. inponuntur salsamenta et contra canis 

47 rabiosi ; vel si non sint ferro ustae plagae corporaque 
clysteribus exinanita, hoc per se sufficit. et contra 
draconem marinum ex aceto inponuntur. idem et 
cybio effectus. draco quidem marinus ad spinae 
suae, qua ferit, venenum ipse inpositus vel cerebro 
toto 2 prodest. 

48 XVIII. Ranarum marinarum ex vino et aceto 
decoctarum sucus contra venena bibitur, et contra 
ranae rubetae venenum et contra salamandras. fluvi- 
atilium 3 si carnes edantur iusve decoctarum sorbe- 
atur, prosunt et contra leporem marinum et contra 
serpentes supra dictos, contra scorpiones ex vino. 

49 Democritus quidem tradit, si quis extrahat ranae 
viventi linguam, nulla alia corporis parte adhaerente, 
ipsaque dimissa in aquam inponat supra cordis palpi- 

1 per se etiam B 2 Sillig : ad vesperam multi codd. : per 
satiem Mayhoff. 

2 toto multi codd. ; toti B : poto Mayhoff. 

3 fluviatilium Detlefsen : fluviatilil/jiu B 2 : anteponunt vel e 
multi codd. 

a Ad vesperam would be " towards evening"; ad satiem 
"toa surfeit." 

6 Poto: " its brain taken in drink." 

492 



BOOK XXXII. xvii. 45-xvm. 49 

poisons, whether conveyed in drink, by sting, or by 
bite. There are also remedies from preserved fish ; 
to eat salted fish is good for the bites of snakes and of 
other venomous creatures, but now and then should 
be drunk enough neat wine to bring back by vomiting 
even the food whole ; ° the remedy is specially good 
for those bitten by the chalcis lizard, horned viper, 
what is called seps, elops, or dipsas. For scorpion 
stings a bigger dose of salted fish is beneficial, but 
not enough to cause the vomiting, or intolerable 
thirst ; it is also good to lay salted nsh on the wounds. 
Against the bites of crocodiles nothing else is con- 
sidered to be a more sovereign remedy. The sarda 
is specific against the bite of the prester. Salted fish 
is also applied to the bite of a mad dog ; even if the 
wound has not been cauterised with a hot iron, and 
the bowels emptied with a clyster, the fish by itself 
is enough. Salted fish is also applied with vinegar to 
the wound given by the weever fish. The tunny too 
has the same property. The weever fish indeed, if 
itself, or the whole b of its brain, if applied to the 
poisoned wound caused by a blow of his own spine, 
makes a good remedy. 

XVIII. A decoction of sea frogs c boiled down in 
wine and vinegar is drunk to counteract poisons, also 
that of the bramble toad and salamander ; if the 
flesh of river frogs is eaten, or the broth drunk after 
boiling them down, it counteracts the poison of the 
sea-hare, of the snakes mentioned above, and of 
scorpions if wine is used in the preparation. Demo- 
critus indeed tells us that if the tongue, with no other 
flesh adhering, is extracted from a living frog, and 
after the frog has been set free into water, placed 

c Angler-fish. 

493 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tationem mulieri dormienti, quaecumque interroga- 
verit, vera responsuram. addunt etiamnum alia 
Magi, quae si vera sint, multo utiliores vitae existu- 
mentur ranae quam leges ; namque harundine 
transfixis a * natura per os si surculus in menstruis 

50 defigatur a marito, adulterorum taedium fieri. carni- 
bus earum vel 2 in hamum additis praecipue purpuras 
adlici certum est. iocur ranae geminum esse dicunt 
abicique formicis oportere ; eam partem, quam 
adpetant, contra venena omnia esse pro antidoto. 
sunt quae in vepribus tantum vivunt, ob id rubetarum 
nomine, ut diximus, quas Graeci <j>pvvovs vocant, 
grandissimae cunctarum, geminis veluti cornibus, 
plenae veneficiorum. mira de iis certatim tradunt 

51 auctores : inlatis in populum silentium fieri ; ossiculo, 
quod sit in dextro latere, in aquam ferventem deiecto 
refrigerari vas nec postea fervere nisi exempto, id 
inveniri abiecta rana formicis carnibusque erosis, 
singula in oleum 3 addi ; esse in sinistro latere quo 

52 deiecto fervere videatur, apocynon vocari, canum 
impetus eo cohiberi, amorem concitari et iurgia 
addito in potionem, venerem adalligato stimulari, 

1 transfixis a B: transfixa multi codd.: transfixa a Ianus. 

2 Ante vel addit nassis Sillig cum vet. Dal. 

3 oleum fere omnes codd.: solium Hermolaus Barbarus: 
ollam Ianus. 

a Something seems wrong with this sentence, which means, 
if literally translated, that frogs are pierced with a reed, and 
then the husband plants a shoot. There is no indication that 
the shoot is the same as the recd. Perhaps there is a lacuna 
after os; perhaps too the transfixa of most MSS. is correct, 
although such a use of transfigor (" a reed having been 
thrust ") is rare. 

b The addition of nassis is a better remedy than any other. 

e See Book VIII. § 110. The word rana may be either 
" frog " or " toad." 

494 



BOOK XXXI I. xvm. 49-52 

over the beating heart of a sleeping woman, she will 
give true answers to all question^. 

The Magi add also other details, and if there is any 
truth in them, frogs should be considered more 
beneficial than laws to the life of mankind. They 
say that if frogs are pierced a with a reed from the 
genitals through the mouth, and if the husband plants 
a ^hoot in his wife's menstrual discharge she conceives 
an aversion to adulterous lovers. It is certain that 
frogs' flesh placed <in weels) b or on a hook makes ex- 
cellent bait for the purple-fish. It is said that the liver 
of a frog is double, and should be thrown in the way 
of ants ; that the part the ants attack is an antidote 
for all poisons. Some frogs there are that live onlv 
in brambles, and so they are called bramble-toads, as 
I have said, c and by the Greeks <f>pvvoi. These are 
the largest of all frogs, have as it were a pair of horns, 
and are full of poison. Our authorities vie with one 
another in relating marvellous stories about the 
toad : that when brought into a meeting of the people 
silence reigns ; that if the little bone found in its 
right side is let fall into boiling water, the vessel 
cools, and does not afterwards boil unless the bone is 
taken out ; that it is found when a frog has been 
thrown to ants and the flesh gnawed away ; that one 
at a time these bones are put into oil ; d that there is 
in a frog's left side a bone called " dog's bane," 
which dropped <^into oil) gives the appearance of 
boiling ; by it the attacks of dogs are repelled, and 
if it is put in drink love and quarrels e brought about ; 
that worn as an amulet it acts as an aphrodisiac ; that 

d With the reading solium, " tub "; with ollam, " pot." 
e Is there a zeugnia here, " love aroused and quarrels 
settled." Perhaps read conciliari. 

495 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rursus e dextro latere refrigerari ferventia ; hoc et 
quartanas sanari adalligato in pellicula agnina recenti 
aliasque febres, amorem inhiberi, ex isdem his ranis 
lien contra venena, quae fiant ex ipsis, auxiliatur, 
iocur vero etiam efficacius. 

53 XIX. Est colubra in aqua vivens. huius adipem 
et fel habentes qui crocodilos venentur mire adiuvari 
dicunt, nihil contra belua audente, efficacius etiam- 
num, si herba potamogiton misceatur. cancri fluvi- 
atiles triti potique ex aqua recentes seu cinere adser- 
vato contra venena omnia prosunt, privatim contra 
scorpionum ictus cum lacte asinino, si non sit, caprino 
aut quocumque ; addi et vinum oportet. necant eos 

54 triti cum ocimo admoti. eadem vis contra venena- 
torum omnium morsus, privatim scytalen et angues 
et contra leporem marinum ac ranam rubetam. cinis 
eorum servatus prodest pavore potus periclitantibus 
ex canis rabiosi morsu. quidam adiciunt gentianam 
et dant in vino, et si iam pavor occupaverit, pastillos 

55 vino subactos devorandos ita praecipiunt. decem 
vero cancris cum ocimi manipulo adligatis omnes, qui 
ibi sint, scorpiones ad eum locum coituros Magi 
dicunt, et cum ocimo ipsos cineremve eorum per- 
cussis inponunt. minus in omnibus his marini pro- 
sunt. Thrasyllus auctor est nihil aeque adversari 
serpentibus quam cancros ; sues percussas x hoc 
pabulo sibi mederi ; cum sol sit in cancro, serpentes 

56 torqueri. ictibus scorpionum carnes et fluviatilium 

1 percussas] percussos B. 



" Pondweed ; see Indez of Plants in Vol. VII. 
6 A snake of equal thickness throughout. The word means 
a cylinder. 



496 



BOOK XXXII. xviii. 52-xix. 56 

the bone again on the right side cools boiling liquids ; 
that worn in fresh lamb's skin as an amulet this bone 
also cures quartan and other fevers, but love is 
restrained. The spleen of these frogs is also a 
remedy for the poisons that come from them, while 
their liver is even more efficacious. 

XIX. There is a snake, a colubra, that lives in the 
water. It is said that, if they have its fat 01* gall on 
their persons, crocodile hunters are helped wonder- 
fully, as the brute dares not attack it at all ; it is still 
more efficacious when combined with the plant pota- 
mogiton. Fresh river-crabs pounded and taken in 
water, or their ash preserved, are good for all poisons, 
being specific for scorpion stings, if taken with asses' 
milk, or failing that with goat's or any other milk ; 
wine too should be added. Pounded with basil and 
applied to scorpions, river-crabs kill them. Their 
property avails also against the bites of all venomous 
creatures, being specific against the scytale, & snakes, 
sea-hare, and bramble toad. Their ash preserved is 
good for those threatened with hydrophobia from the 
bite of a mad dog. Some add gentian and administer 
in wine, and if hydrophobia has already set in, pre- 
scribe lozenges made with the ash and wine to be 
swallowed. The Magi indeed assert that if ten 
crabs with a handful of basil are tied together, all 
the scorpions of the district will collect to the spot, 
and to those wounded by scorpions they apply with 
basil either crabs themselves or else their ash. For 
all these purposes sea crabs are less efficacious. 
Thrasyllus avows that no antidote for snake bite is 
as good as crabs ; that pigs, when bitten, cure them- 
selves by taking crabs as food; and that when the 
sun is in Cancer snakes are in torture. The stings 

497 



PLINY: XATl/RAL HISTORY 

coclearum resistunt crudae vel coctae. quidam ob 
id salsas quoque adservant. inponunt et plagis 
ipsis. coracini pisces Nilo quidem peculiares sunt. 
sed nos haec omnibus terris demonstramus. carnes 
eorum adversus scorpiones valent inpositae. inter 
venena piscium sunt porci marini spinae in dorso, 
cruciatu magno laesorum. remedio est limus ex li- 
quore x piscium eorum corporis. 

57 XX. Canis rabidi morsibus potum expavescentibus 
faciem perungunt adipe vituli marini, efficacius, si 
medulla hyaenae et oleum e lentisco et cera mis- 
ceatur. 2 murenae morsus ipsarum capitis cinere 

58 sanantur. et pastinaca contra suum ictum remedio 
est cinere suo ex aceto inlito vel alterius. cibi causa 
extrahi debet ex dorso eius quidquid croco simile est 
caputque totum ; et haec 3 autem et omnia testacea 
modice collui 4 cibis, quia saporis gratia perit. e 
lepore marino veneficium restingunt poti hippocampi. 
contra dorycnium echini maxime prosunt, et iis, qui 
sucum carpathii biberint, praecipue e iure sumpti. 
et cancri marini decocti ius contra dorycnium efficax 
habetur, peculiariter vero contra leporis marini 
venena. 

59 XXI. Et ostrea adversantur isdem, nec potest 
videri satis dictum esse de iis, cum palma mensarum 

1 liquore coni. Mayhoff (reliquiis in textu) : reliquo aut liquo 
codd. 

2 misceatur codd. : rnisceantur vet. Dal., Mayhoff. 

3 haec Ianus: hanc codd., Mayhoff. 

4 collui in codd.: colluunt coni. Mayhoff, qui dativi (cibis) 
multa exempla dat. 



Thorn-apple. See Index of Plants in Yol. VII. 
A narcotic plant. 



49 8 



BOOK XXXII. xix. 56-xxi. 59 

of scorpions are counteracted also by the flesh of 
river snails, raw or cooked. Some too keep them for 
this purpose preserved in salt. They also apply 
them to the wounds themselves. Though the fish 
called coracini are peculiar to the Nile, I am giving 
this information for the benefit of all lands. Appli- 
cation of their flesh is good for scorpion stings. 
Among poisonous parts of fishes are the prickles on 
the back of the sea-pig, a wound from which causes 
severe torture. A remedy is the slime from the 
liquid part of the body of these fishes. 

XX. When the bite of a mad dog causes a dread 
of drink they rub the face with the fat of a seal, with 
more effect if there are mixed with it the marrow of 
a hyaena, mastic oil, and wax. The bites of the 
murry are healed by the head of the murry itself, 
reduced to ash. For the wound of the sting-ray a 
remedy is the ash, of the same ray itself or of any 
other specimen, applied locally in vinegar. When 
the fish is used as food there should be taken from 
its back whatever is like saffron, and the whole head 
removed, while the ray, and all shell fish, when used 
as food, should not be over-washed, as to do so spoils 
the flavour. The poison of the sea-hare is counter- 
acted by the sea-horse taken in drink. Sea-urchins 
are very good as an antidote to dorycnium, a as they 
are also for those who have drunk juice of carpathium, 6 
especially if they are taken in their broth. Effective 
against dorycnium is also considered a decoction of 
sea-crab, and indeed specific for the poison of the sea- 
hare. 

XXI. The same poisons are counteracted also by 
oysters. About these it cannot appear that enough 
has been said, seeing that they have long been con- 

499 



PLINY: XATURAL HISTORY 

diu iam tribuatur illis. gaudent dulcibus aquis et 
ubi plurumi influant * amnes ; ideo pelagia parva et 
rara sunt. gignuntur tamen et in petrosis carenti- 
busque aquarum dulcium adventu, sicut circa Gry- 
nium et Myrinam. grandescunt sideris quidem 
ratione maxime, ut in natura aquatilium diximus, sed 
privatim circa initia aestatis multo lacte praegnatia 

60 atque ubi sol penetret in vada. haec videtur causa, 
quare minora in alto reperiantur ; opacitas cohibet 
incrementum, et tristitia minus adpetunt cibos. 
variantur coloribus, rufa Hispaniae, fusca Illyrico, 
nigra et carne et testa Cerceis, praecipua vero haben- 
tur in quacumque gente spissa nec saliva sua lubrica. 
crassitudine potius spectanda quam latitudine, neque 
in lutosis capta neque in harenosis, sed solido vado, 
spondylo brevi atque non carnoso, nec fibris laciniosa 

01 ac tota in alvo. addunt peritiores notam ambiente 
purpureo crine fibras, eoque argumento generosa 
interpretantur calliblephara ea 2 appellantes. gau- 
dent et peregrinatione transferrique in ignotas aquas. 
sic Brundisina in Averno compasta et suum retinere 
sucum et a Lucrino adoptare creduntur. 

62 Haec sint dicta de corpore ; dicemus et de nationi- 
bus, ne fraudentur gloria sua litora, sed dicemus 

1 influant Mayhoff: influunt codd. : cf. penetret infra. 

2 calliblephara ea Ianus: calliblepharata d: varia ceteti 
codd. 



See IX. § 90. 



BOOK XXXII. xxi. 59-62 

sidered the prize delicacy of our tables. Oysters love 
fresh water, and where there is an inflow from many 
rivers ; wherefore deep-sea oysters are small and far 
between. They also breed, however, in rocky 
districts and places where 110 fresh water in comes, 
such as around Grynium and Myrina. Their growth 
corresponds very closely to the increase of the moon, 
as I said a when dealing with water-creatures, but 
they grow most about the beginning of summer, and 
where sunshine makes its way into shallows, for 
then they swell with copious, milky, juice. This 
appears to be the reason why oysters found in deep 
water are rather small ; darkness hinders their 
growth, and their gloom robs them of appetite. 

Oysters vary in colour ; red in Spain they are tawny 
in Illyricum, and black, both flesh and shell, in 
Circeii. In every country, however, those are most 
prized that are compact, not greasy with their own 
slime, remarkable for thickness rather than breadth, 
taken from water neither muddy nor sandy, but from 
that with a hard bottom, those whose meat is short 
and not fleshy, those without fringed edges, and lying 
wholly in the hollow of the shell. 

Experts add a mark of distinction : if a purple line 
encircle the beard, they consider such oysters to be 
of a nobler type, and call them " beautifully eye- 
browed." Oysters like to travel and be moved into 
strange waters. And so oysters of Brundisium that 
have fed in Lake Avernus are believed to retain their 
own flavour as well as acquire that of the oysters of 
Lake Lucrinus. 

So much for their bodies. I will now speak of the 
countries that breed oysters, lest the shores should 
be cheated of their proper fame ; but I shall do so 

501 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aliena lingua quaeque peritissima huius censurae in 
nostro aevo fuit. 1 sunt ergo Muciani verba, quae 
subiciam : Cyzicena maiora Lucrinis, dulciora Brit- 
tannicis, suaviora Medullis, acriora Ephesis, pleniora 
Iliciensibus, sicciora Coryphantenis, teneriora Histri- 
cis, candidiora Cerceiensibus. sed his neque dulciora 

63 neque teneriora ulla esse compertum est. in Indico 
mari Alexandri rerum auctores pedalia inveniri pro- 
didere, nec non inter nos nepotis 2 cuiusdam nomen- 
clatura tridacna appellavit, tantae amplitudinis 
intellegi cupiens, ut ter mordenda essent. 

64 Dos eorum medica hoc in loco tota dicetur ; sto- 
machum unice reficiunt,fastidiis medentur, addiditque 
luxuria frigus obrutis nive, summa montium et maris 
ima miscens. emolliunt alvum leniter. eademque 
cocta cum mulso tenesmo, qui sine exulceratione sit, 
liberant. vesicarum ulcera quoque repurgant. cocta 
in conchis suis, uti clusa invenerint, mire destilla- 

65 tionibus prosunt. testae ostreorum cinis uvam sedat 
et tonsillas admixto melle, eodem modo parotidas, 
panos mammarumque duritias, capitum ulcera ex 
aqua cutemque mulierum extendit ; inspergitur et 
ambustis. et dentifricio placet. pruritibus quoque 
et eruptionibus pituitae ex aceto medetur. purpurae 

1 fuit codd. : fuerit vel fit coni. Mayhoff. 

2 nepotis] Frohner Xepotis coni. 



a A tax-free colony on the coast of Spain. 
h There is a difference of opinion as to where the quotation 
ends. Some stop here, some at Circeiensibus, Jan at essent. 
e With Frohner's emendation " one Xepos." 
d From Tpls " thrice " and haxvai " I bite." 

502 



BOOK XXXII. xxi. 62-65 

in the words of another, one who was the greatest 
connoisseur of such matters in our time. These then 
are the words of Mucianus, which I will quote : — 

Oysters of Cyzicus are larger than those of Lake 
Lucrinus, fresher than the British, sweeter than those 
of Medullae, sharper than the Ephesian, fuller than 
those of Ilici,° less slimy than those of Coryphas, 
softer than those of Histria, whiter than those of 
Circeii. 

It is agreed, however, that none are fresher or 
softer than the last. b The writers of Alexander's 
expedition tell us that in the Indian sea are found 
oysters a foot long, and among ourselves a spend- 
thrift c has invented the nickname tridacna,' 1 wishing 
it to be used of oysters so large that they require 
three bites. 

I shall give all their medical virtues at this point. 
Oysters are specific for settling the stomach, they 
restore lost appetite, and luxury has added coolness 
by burying them in snow, thus wedding the tops of 
the mountains to the bottom of the sea. They are 
a gentle laxative. They also, if boiled with honey 
wine, cure tenesmus if there is no ulceration. They 
also clean an ulcerated bladder. Boiled, unopened 
as gathered, in their shells, they are wonderfully 
good for streaming colds. Reduced to ash and mixed 
with honey oyster shells relieve troubles of the 
uvula and tonsils, similarly parotid swellings, 
superficial abscesses and indurations of the breasts. 
Applied with water the ash cures sores on the head 
and smooths the skin of women. It is sprinkled on 
burns and is popular as a dentifrice. Applied also 
with vinegar it cures itch and eruptions of phlegm. 
The purple-fish too is a good antidote to poisons. 

503 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quoque contra venena prosunt. crudae si tundantur, 
strumas sanant et perniones pedum. 

66 XXII. Et algam maris theriacen esse Nicander 
tradit. plura eius genera, ut diximus, longo folio et 
rubente, latiore alia vel crispo. laudatissima quae 
in Creta insula iuxta terram in petris nascitur, tingu- 
endis etiam lanis, ita colorem alligans, ut elui postea 
non possit. e vino iubet eam dari. 

67 XXIII. Alopecias replet hippocampi cinis nitro et 
adipe suillo mixtus aut sincerus ex aceto, praeparat 
autem saepiarum crustae farina medicamentis cutem ; 
replet et muris marini cinis cum oleo, item echini cum 
carnibus suis cremati, fei scorpionis marini, ranarum 
quoque trium, si vivae in olla concrementur, cinis cum 
melle, melius cum pice liquida. capillum denigrant 
sanguisugae, quae in vino nigro diebus xxxx com- 

68 putuere. aliiin aceti sextariis duobus sanguisugarum 
sextarium in vase plumbeo putrescere iubent totidem 
diebus, mox inlini in sole. Sornatius tantam vim 
hanc tradit, ut, nisi oleum ore contineant qui tinguent, 
dentes quoque suco x earum denigrari dicat. Capitis 
ulceribus muricum vel purpurarum testae cinis cum 
melle utiliter inlinitur, conchyliorum vel, si non 
uratur, farina ex aqua, doloribus castoreum cum 
peucedano et rosaceo. 

1 Post quoque add. suco Mayhojj. 

a See Theriaca 845. 

6 Book XXVI. § 103. 

c Or, " close to dry land." 

504 



BOOK XXXII. xxi. 65-xxm. 68 

Beaten up raw, oysters cure scrofulous sores and 
chilblains on the feet. 

XXII. Seaweed too is said by Nicander a to be an 
antidote. There are many kinds of it, as I have said : b 
one with a long, red leaf, another with a broader leaf, 
and a third with a curly one. The most prized is the 
one growing near the ground c in the island of Crete 
among the rocks, for this dyes even wool with a 
colour so fixed that it cannot be washed out after- 
wards. Nicander recommends it to be given in wine. 

XXIII. Hair lost through mange is restored by 
ashes of the sea-horse, either mixed with soda and 
pig's lard, or else by itself in vinegar; the skin how- 
ever must be prepared for medicaments by the rind 
of the sepia cuttle-fish ground to powder. It is 
restored also by the ash of the sea-mouse with oil, by 
that of the sea-urchin burnt with its flesh, by the 
gall of the sea-scorpion, also by the ash of three frogs 
with honey, better with liquid pitch, but the frogs 
must be burnt together alive in a jar. Leeches 
blacken the hair if they have rotted for forty days in 
a red wine. Others recommend that for the same 
number of days a sextarius of leeches be allowed to 
rot in a leaden vessel containing two sextarii of 
vinegar, and that then they should be applied in the 
sun. Sornatius tells us that they have such power 
that unless those who are going to dye keep oil in the 
mouth, the extract from the leeches blackens the 
teeth as well. To sores on the head are applied with 
honey beneficially shells of murex or purple-fish, 
reduced to ash ; those of any shell-fish, ground to 
powder if not burned, and applied in water, are also 
beneficial. For headache use beaver-oil with peuce- 
danum and rose-oil. 

505 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

69 XXIV. Omnium piscium fluviatilium marinorum- 
que adipes liquefacti sole admixto melle oculorum 
claritati plurimum conferunt, item castoreum cum 
melle. callionymi fel cicatrices sanat et carnes 
oculorum supervaeuas consumit. nulli hoc piscium 
copiosius, ut existumavit Menander quoque in como- 
ediis. idem piscis et uranoscopos vocatur ab oculo, 

70 quem in capite habet. et coracini fel excitat visum, 
et marini scorpionis rufi cum oleo vetere aut melle 
Attico incipientes suffusiones discutit ; inungui ter 
oportet intermissis diebus. eadem ratio albugines 
oculorum tollit. mullorum cibo aciem oculorum 
hebetari tradunt. lepus marinus ipse quidem vene- 
natus est, sed cinis eius in palpebris pilos inutiles 
evolsos cohibet. ad hunc usum utilissimi minimi, 
item pectunculi salsi triti cum cedria, ranae, quas 
diopetas et calamitas vocant; earum sanguis cum 

71 lacrima vitis evolso pilopalpebris inlinatur. tumorem 
oculorum ruboremque saepiae cortex cum lacte 
mulieris inlitus sedat et per se scabritias emendat ; 
invertunt ita genas et medicamentum auferunt post 
paulum rosaceoque inungunt et pane inposito miti- 
gant. eodem cortice et nyctalopes curantur, in 
farinam trito ex aceto inlito. extrahit et squamas 

72 eius cinis. cicatrices oculorum cum melle sanat, 
pterygia cum sale et cadmia singulis drachmis, 
emendat et albugines iumentorum. aiunt et ossiculo 
eius genas, si terantur, sanari. echini ex aceto 

a In Aelian XIII. 4 ; Meineke IV. p. 79. 

b I.e. " stargazer." 

c l.e. " fallen from Jupiter." a The " green-frog." 

506 



BOOK XXXII. xxiv. 69-72 

XXIV. Of all fish, river or sea, the fats, melted in 
the sun and mixed with honey, are very good for 
clearness of vision, and so is beaver oil and honey. 
The gall of the star-gazer heals scars, and removes 
superfluous flesh about the eyes. No other fish has 
a greater abundance of gall ; this opinion, Menander" 
too expresses in his comedies. This fish is also called 
uranoscopos, & from the eye which it has in its head. 
The gall of the coracinus too improves vision, and 
that of the red sea-scorpion with old oil and Attic 
honey disperses incipient cataract ; it should be 
applied as ointment three times, once every other day. 
The same treatment removes albugo from the eyes. 
A diet of mullet is said to dull the eye-sight. Though 
the sea-hare itself is poisonous, yet reduced to ash it 
prevents from growing again superfluous hair on the 
eyelids that has been plucked out. For this purpose 
the most useful specimens are the smallest ; also 
small scallops, salted and pounded with cedar rezin, 
frogs called diopetae c or ealamitae ; d their blood, with 
vine tear-gum, should be rubbed on the lids after 
plucking out the hair. Swellings and redness of the 
eyes are soothed by an application of sepia bone with 
woman's milk, and by itself it is good for roughness 
of the lids. In this cure they turn up the lids, taking 
offthe ointment after a little time, treat the part with 
rose-oil and soothe with a bread-poulticc. The bone 
is also good treatment for night-blindness, if ground 
to powder and applied in vinegar. Reduced to ash 
it brings away scales ; with honey it heals scars on 
the eyes ; with salt and cadmia, a drachma of each, 
it heals inflammatory swellings, and also albugo in 
cattle. They say that eyelids, if rubbed by its small 
bone, are healed. Urchins in vinegar remove night 

507 



PLINY: NAITRAL HISTORY 

epinyctidas tollunt. eundem comburi cum viperinis 
pellibus ranisque et cinerem aspergi potionibus 

73 iubent Magi, claritatem visus promittentes. ich- 
tliyocolla appellatur piscis, cui glutinosum est corium. 
idem nomen glutino eius ; hoc epinyctidas tollit. 
quidam ex ventre, non e corio, fieri dicunt ichthyo- 
collam, ut glutinum taurinum. laudatur Pontica, 
candida et carens venis squamisque et quae celerrime 
liquescit. madescere autem debet concisa in aqua 
aut aceto nocte ac die, mox tundi marinis lapidibus, 
ut facilius liquescat. utilem eam et capitis doloribus 

74 adfirmant et tetanis. ranae dexter oculus dextri, 
sinister laevi, suspensi e collo nativi coloris panno 
lippitudines sanant ; quod si per coitum lunae eruan- 
tur, albuginem quoque, adalligati, similiter in puta- 
mine ovi. reliquae carnes inpositae suggillationem 
rapiunt. cancri etiam oculos adalligatos collo mederi 

75 lippitudini dicunt. est parva rana in harundinetis et 
herbis maxime vivens, muta ac sine voce, viridis, si 
forte hauriatur, ventres boum distendens. huius 
corporis umorem derasum specillis claritatem oculis 
inunctis narrant adferre. et ipsas carnes doloribus 
oculorum superponunt. ranas xv coiectas in fictile 
novum iuncis configunt quidam sucoque earum, qui 
ita effluxerit, admiscent vitis albae lacrimam atque 
ita palpebras emendant, inutilibus pilis exemptis acu 

" The fish is our sturgeon, and its glue is isinglass. 
508 



BOOK XXXII. xxiv. 72-75 

rashes. The Magi recommend the same to be burnt 
with vipers' skins and frogs, and the ash to be 
sprinkled into drinks ; they assure us that clearer 
vision will result. Ichthyocolla a is the name of a fish 
that has a sticky skin ; the same name is given to the 
glue of the fish ; this disperses night rashes. Some 
say that ichthyocolla is made from the belly and not 
from the skin, just as is bull glue. Pontic ichthyo- 
colla is popular, being white, free from veins and 
scales, and melting very quickly. It ought, however, 
to be cut up and soaked in water or vinegar for a night 
and a day, and then to be pounded by sea-pebbles, 
to make it melt more readily. They assure us that 
it is useful both for headache and for all tetanus. 
The right eye of a frog hung round the neck in a piece 
of undyed cloth cures ophthalmia in the right eye ; 
the left eye similarly tied cures ophthalmia in the 
left. But if the frog's eyes are gouged out when the 
moon is in conjunction, and worn similarly by the 
patient, enclosed in an egg-shell, it will also cure 
albugo. The rest of the flesh, if applied, quickly 
takes away bruises. An amulet of crabs' eyes also, 
worn on the neck, are said to cure ophthalmia. 
There is a small frog, found living especially in reed- 
beds and grasses, deaf, without a croak, and green, 
which, if it by chance is swallowed, swells up the 
bellies of oxen. They say that the fluid of its body, 
scraped off with a spatula and applied to the eyes, 
improves vision. The flesh by itself is placed over 
painful eyes. Some put together into a new earthen 
jar fifteen frogs, piercing them with rushes ; to the 
fluid that thus exudes they add the gum of the white 
vine, and so treat eyelids ; superfluous hairs are 
plucked out, and the mixture dropped with a needle 

5°9 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

installantes hunc sucum in vestigia evolsorum. 

76 Meges psilotrum palpebrarum faciebat in aceto 
enecans putrescentes et ad hoc utebatur multis variis- 
que per aquationes autumni nascentibus. idem prae- 
stare sanguisugarum cinis ex aceto inlitus putatur — 
comburi eas oportet in novo vaso — idem thynni iocur 
siccatum pondere X im cum oleo cedrino perunctis 
pilis novem mensibus. 

77 XXV. Auribus utilissimum batiae piscis fel recens, 
sed et inveteratum vino, 1 item bacchi, quem quidam 
mizyenem 2 vocant, item callionymi cum rosaceo in- 
fusam vel castoreum cum papaveris suco. vocant et 
in mari peduculos eosque tritos instillari ex aceto 
auribus iubent. et per se 3 et conchylio infecta lana 
magnopere prodest; quidam aceto et nitro made- 

78 faciunt. sunt qui praecipue contra omnia aurium 
vitia laudent gari excellentis cyathum, mellis dimidio 
amplius, aceti cyathum in calice novo leni pruna deco- 
quere subinde spuma pinnis detersa et, postquam 
desierit spumare, tepidum infundere. si tumeant 
aures, coriandri suco prius mitigandas iidem praecipi- 
unt. ranarum adips instillatus statim dolores tollit. 
cancrorum fluviatilium sucus cum farina hordeacea 
aurium volneribus efficacissime prodest. parotides 
muricum testae cinere cum melle vel conchyliorum 
ex mulso curantur. 

1 vino codd.: nitro Mayhoff, qui XXXI, 111 (117) confert. 

- mizyenem B, Detlefsen, Mayhoff: varia codd. 

3 ex per se codd. : operire coni. Mayhoff ex Marcello. 

510 



BOOK XXXII. xxiv. 7,--xxv 



I D 



into the holes made by the plucked-out hairs. Meges 
used to make a depilatory for the eyelids by killing 
frogs in vinegar and letting them putrefy ; for this 
purpose he used the many spotted frogs that breed 
in the autumn rains. The same effect is thought to 
be produced by leeches reduced to ash and applied 
in vinegar ; they must be burnt in a new vessel. The 
same effects too by the dried liver of a tunny, in doses 
of four denarii added to cedar oil and applied to the 
hairs for nine months. 

XXV. Most beneficial to the ears is the fresh gall 
of the skate, but also vvhen preserved in wine, the 
gall of grey mullet, which some call mizyene, and also 
that of the star-gazer with rose-oil poured into the 
ears, or beaver oil poured into the ears with poppy 
juice. There is a creature called the sea-louse, and 
they recommend sea-lice to be crushed and dropped 
into the ears in vinegar. Wool, both by itself and 
dyed with the purple fish, is very good for ear troubles ; 
some moisten it with vinegar and soda. Some there 
are who recommend as a sovereign remedy for all 
ear troubles a cyathus of first-grade garum, half as 
much again honey, with a cyathus of vinegar, to be 
boiled down in a new cup over a slow fire, every 
now and then wiping away the froth with feathers, 
and when the mixture has ceased to froth, to pour it 
into the ears when tepid. Should the ears be swollen, 
the same authorities prescribe that the swellings 
should be first reduced with juice of coriander. 
Frog fat dropped into the ears immediately takes 
away pains. The juice of river crabs with barley flour 
is most beneficial for wounds of the ears. The ash of 
murex shell with honey, or that of other shell-fish in 
honey wine. is good treatment for parotid swellings. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

79 XXVI. Dentium dolores sedantur ossibus draconis 
marini scariphatis gingivis, cerebro caniculae in oleo 
decocto adservatoque, ut ex eo dentes semel anno 
colluantur. pastinacae quoque radio scariphari gin- 
givas in dolore utilissimum contritus. is et cum helle- 
boro albo inlitus dentes sine vexatione extrahit. 
salsamentorum etiam <(in) x fictili vase combustorum 

80 cinis addita farina marmoris inter remedia est. et 
cybia vetera eluta in novo vase, dein trita prosunt 
doloribus. aeque prodesse dicuntur omnium sal- 
samentorum spinae combustae tritaeque et inlitae. 
decocuntur et ranae singulae in aceti heminis, ut 
dentes ita colluantur contineaturque in ore sucus. 
si fastidium obstaret, suspendebat pedibus posteriori- 
bus eas Sallustius Dionysius, ut ex ore virus deflueret 
in acetum fervens, idque e pluribus ranis ; fortioribus 
stomachis ex iure mandendas dabat. maxillaresque 
ita sanari praecipue dentes putant, mobiles vero 

81 supra dicto aceto stabiliri. ad hoc quidam ranarum 
corpora binarum praecisis pedibus in vini hemina 
macerant et ita collui dentium labantes iubent. 
aliqui totas adalligant maxillis. alii denas in sextariis 
tribus aceti decoxere ad tertias partes, ut mobiles 
dentium stabilirent. nec non xlvi 2 ranarum corda 
in olei veteris sextario sub aereo testo discoxere, ut 
infunderent per aurem dolentis maxillae. alii iocur 
ranae decoctum et tritum cum melle inposuere denti- 

1 in post etiam add. Mayhoff. 

2 XLVI B, Sillig : XXXVI ceteri codd. 

512 



BOOK XXXII. xxvi. 79-81 

XXVI. Toothache is relieved by scraping the gums 
with the bones of the weever fish, or by the brain of 
a dog-fish boiled down in oil and kept, so that the 
teeth may be washed with it once every year. To 
scrape the gums too with the ray of the sting-ray is 
very beneficial for toothache. This ray if pounded 
and applied with white hellebore brings out teeth 
without any distress. Salted fish also, reduced to 
ash in an earthen vessel and mixed with powdered 
marble, is another remedy. Old slices of tunny 
rinsed in a new vessel and then beaten up, are good 
for toothaches. Equally good are said to be the 
backbones of any salted fish, burnt, pounded, and 
applied. A single frog is boiled down in one hemina 
of vinegar, so that the teeth may be rinsed with the 
juice, which should be held in the mouth. Should 
the nasty taste be an objection, Sallustius Dionysius 
used to hang frogs by their hind legs so that the fluid 
from their mouths might drop into boiling vinegar, 
and that from several frogs. For stronger stomachs 
he prescribed the frogs themselves, to be eaten with 
their broth. It is thought that double teeth yield 
best to this treatment, when loose indeed the vinegar 
spoken of above is thought to make them firm. For 
this purpose some cut off the feet of two frogs and 
soak the bodies in a hemina of wine, and recommend 
loose teeth to be rinsed with the liquid. Some tie 
whole frogs on the jaws as an amulet ; others have 
boiled down ten frogs in three sextarii of vinegar to 
one third the volume, in order to strengthen loose 
teeth. Furthermore they have boiled the hearts of 
46 frogs under a copper vessel in one sextarius of old 
oil, to be poured into the ear on the side of the aching 
jaw. Others have boiled the liver of a frog, beaten 

513 

VOL. VIII. S 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

82 bus. omnia supra scripta ex marina efficaciora. si 
cariosi et faetidi sint, cetum in furno arefieri per 
noctem praecipiunt, postea tantundem salis addi 
atque ita fricari. enhydris vocatur a Graecis colubra 
in aqua vivens. huius quattuor dentibus superioribus 
in dolore superiorum gingivas scariphant, inferiorum 
inferioribus ; aliqui canino tantum earum contenti 
sunt. utuntur et cancrorum cinere, nam muricum 
cinis dentifricium est. 

83 XXVII. Lichenas et lepras tollit adips vituli 
marini, menarum cinis cum mellis obolis ternis, iocur 
pastinacae in oleo coctum, hippocampi aut delphini * 
cinis ex aqua inlitus. exulcerationem sequi debet 
curatio, quae perducit ad cicatricem. quidam del- 
phini in fictili torrent, donec pinguitudo similis oleo 

84 fluat ; hac 2 perungunt. muricum vel conchyliorum 
testae cinis maculas in facie mulierum purgat cum 
melle inlitus cutemque erugat et extendit septenis 
diebus inlitus ita, ut octavo candido ovorum fove- 
antur. muricum generis sunt quae vocant Graeci 
coluthia, alii coryphia, turbinata aeque, sed minora, 
multo efficaciora, etiam oris halitum custodientia. 
ichthyocolla erugat cutem extenditque in aqua 
decocta horis quattuor, dein contusa et subacta 

85 ad liquorem usque mellis. ita praeparata in vase 
novo conditur et in usu quattuor drachmis eius 

1 delphini Mayhoff: delphinu B 2 dT : delphini iecur vulg. 

2 hac Mayhoff: ac fere omnes codd. 



a Apparently pinguitudinem is to be understood with 
delphini. 

514 



BOOK XXXII. xxvi. 82-xxvii. 85 

it up with honey, and placed it on the teeth. All the 
above prescriptions are more efficacious if the sea 
frog is used. If the teeth are decayed and foul, they 
recommend whale's flesh to be dried for a night in a 
furnace, and then the same amount of salt to be 
added and the whole to be used as a dentifrice. The 
enhydris is a snake so-called by the Greeks and living 
in water. With four upper teeth of this creature 
they scrape the upper gums, when there is aching of 
the upper teeth, and with four lower teeth the lower 
gums when there is aching in the lower teeth. 
Some are content to use the canine tooth only of 
these creatures. They also use the ash of crabs, but 
the ash of the murex makes a dentifrice. 

XXVII. Lichens and leprous sores are removed by 
the fat of the seal, the ash of menae with three oboli 
of honey, the liver of the sting-ray boiled in oil, or 
the ash of the sea-horse or dolphin applied with 
water. Ulceration should be followed by treatment, 
which results in a scar. Some roast dolphin fat a in 
an earthen jar until it flows like oil ; this they use as 
ointment. The shell of murex or other shell-fish 
reduced to ash clears spots from the faces of women, 
remove wrinkles, and fill out the skin, if applied with 
honey for seven days, but on the eighth day there 
should be fomentation with white of egg. To the 
class murex belong the shell-fish called by the Greeks 
coluihia, by others coryphia, equally conical but 
smaller and much more efficacious, and they also 
keep the breath sweet. Fish-glue removes wrinkles 
and fills out the skin; prepared by boiling down in 
water for four hours and then kneading until liquid 
like honey. After being thus prepared it is stored 
away in a new vessel, and when used four drachmae 

515 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

binae sulpuris et anchusae totidem, octo spumae 
argenteae adduntur aspersaque aqua teruntur una. 
sic inlita facies post quattuor horas abluitur. mede- 
tur et lentigini ceterisque vitiis ex ossibus saepiarum 
cinis. idem et carnes excrescentes tollit et umida 
ulcera. psoras tollit rana decocta in heminis quinque 
aquae marinae ; excoqui debet, donec sit lentitudo 

86 mellis. Fit in mari alcyoneum appellatum, e nidis, 
ut aliqui existumant, alcyonum et ceycum, ut alii, 
sordibus spumarum crassescentibus, alii e limo vel 
quadam maris languine. quattuor eius genera : 
cinereum, spissum, odoris asperi, alterum molle, 
lenius odore et fere algae, tertium x candidioris ver- 
miculi, quartum pumicosius, spongeae putri simile. 

87 paene purpureum quod optimum ; hoc et Milesium 
vocatur. quo candidius autem, hoc minus probabile 
est. vis eorum ut exulcerent, purgent. usus tostis 2 
et sine oleo. mire lepras, lichenas, lentigines tollunt 
cum lupino et sulpuris duobus obolis. alcyoneo 
utuntur et ad oculorum cicatrices. Andreas ad lepras 
cancri cinere cum oleo usus est, Attalus thynni adipe 
recenti. 

88 XXVIII. Oris ulcera menarum muria et capitum 
cinis cum melle sanat. strumas pungi piscis eius, qui 
rana marina appellatur, ossiculo e cauda ita, ut non 
volneret, prodest. faciendum id cotidie, donec per- 

1 Post tertiuin velit forma supplere Mayhoff. 

2 tostis] an lotis? Mayhoff. 

a Exulcerare may mean " to clear away ulcers." 
6 Mayhoff suggests " washed." 

5"6 



BOOK XXXII. xxvii. 85-xxvra. 88 

of it, two of sulphur, two of alkanet, eight of litharge, 
are mixed, sprinkled with water, and pounded 
together. Applied to the face this mixture is 
washed off after four hours. Freckles too and the 
other facial affections are treated by the calcined 
bones of cuttle-fish ; they also remove excrescences 
of flesh and running sores. Itch-scab is removed by 
the decoction of a frog in five heminae of sea-water ; 
the boiling should continue until the consistency is 
that of honey. In the sea is found a substance called 
alcyoneum, some think out of the nests of the alcyon 
and the ceyx, others out of clotted sea-foam, others 
from the slime of the sea or from what might be 
called its down. There are four kinds of it : the first 
is ash-coloured, compact, and of a pungent smell ; 
the second is milder in smell, which is almost that of 
sea-weed ; the third is in shape like a whitish grub ; 
the fourth is rather like pumice, resembling rotten 
sponge. The best is almost purple, and is also called 
Milesian. The whiter alcyoneum is the less valuable 
it is. The property of alcyoneum is to ulcerate ° and 
to cleanse. When used it is parched, b and applied 
without oil. With lupins and two oboli of sulphur it 
removes wonderfully well leprous sores, lichens, and 
freckles. It is also used for scars on the eyes. 
Andreas used for leprous sores crabs reduced to ash 
and applied with oil, Attalus the fresh fat of the 
tunny. 

XXVIII. Ulcers in the mouth are healed by the 
brine of menae, and by their heads reduced to ash 
and applied with honey. For scrofulous sores it is 
good to prick them, but not causing a wound, with 
the little bone from the tail of the fish called the sea- 
frog. This should be done daily, until the cure is 

5*7 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

curentur. eadem vis est pastinacae radio et lepori 
marino inposito ita, ut celeriter removeatur, echini 
testis contusis et ex aceto inlitis, item scolopendrae 
marinae e melle, cancro rluviatili contrito vel com- 
busto ex melle. mirifice prosunt et saepiae ossa cum 

89 axungia vetere contusa et inlita. sic et ad parotidas 
utuntur, et sauri piscis marini iocineribus, quin et 
testis cadi salsamentarii tusis cum axungia vetere, 
muricum cinere ex oleo ad parotidas strumasque. 
rigor cervicis mollitur et marinis, qui pediculi vocan- 
tur, drachma pota, castoreo poto cum pipere ex mulso 
mixto, ranis decoctis ex oleo et sale, ut sorbeatur 
sucus. sic et opisthotono medentur et tetano, 

90 spasticis vero pipere adiecto. Anginas menarum sal- 
sarum e capitibus cinis ex melle inlitus abolet, 
ranarum decoctarum aceto sucus ; hic et contra 
tonsillas prodest. cancri fluviatiles triti singuli in 
hemina aquae anginis medentur gargarizati, aut e 
vino et calida aqua poti. uvae medetur garum 
coclearibus subditum. vocem siluri recentes salsive 
in cibo sumpti adiuvant. 

91 XXIX. Vomitiones mulli inveterati tritique in 
potione concitant. Suspiriosis castorea cum Ham- 
moniaci exigua portione ex aceto mulso ieiunis utilis- 
sima potu. eadem potio spasmos stomachi sedat ex 

5i8 



BOOK XXXII. xxviii. 88-xxix. 91 

complete. The same property is possessed by the 
sting of the sting-ray and by the sea-hare, but the 
application must be quickly removed, with the shells 
of the urchin crushed and applied in vinegar, by the 
sea-scolopendra too applied in honey, and by river- 
crabs, crushed or burnt and applied in honey. 
Wonderfully good too are the bones of cuttle-fish 
crushed with old axle-grease and applied. The same 
prescription is used for parotid swellings as well, 
as is the liver of the horse-mackerel, and even the 
crushed pieces of a jar in which fish have been salted, 
applied with old axle-grease ; the ash of the murex 
is applied with oil for parotid swellings and scrofulous 
sores. 

A stiff neck is softened by what are called sea-lice, 
the dose being a drachma taken in drink, by beaver 
oil mixed with pepper and taken in honey-wine, and 
by frogs boiled down in oil and salt for the liquor to 
be swallowed. This prescription is treatment for 
opisthotonus and tetanus. For spasms, however, 
pepper is added. Quinsy is cured by an application 
in honey of the heads of salted menae, and by the 
liquor of frogs boiled down in vinegar, which last is 
also good for diseased tonsils. River crabs pounded 
one by one in a hemina of water make a healing gargle 
for quinsy, or they may be taken in wine and warm 
water. Garum, placed beneath the uvula with a 
spoon, is good treatment for it. Fresh or salted 
silurus taken as food improve the voice. 

XXIX. Red mullet, preserved, crushed and taken 
in drink, is an emetic. For asthma is very beneficial 
beaver oil taken fasting in oxymel with a small quan- 
tity of sal ammoniac. This draught also calms 
stomach spasms when taken in warm oxymel. A 

5 X 9 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

'.'2 aeeto mulso caldo. Tussim sanare dicuntur piscium 
modo e iure decoctae in patinis ranae. suspensae 
autem pedibus, cum destillaverit in patinas saliva 
earum, exinterari iubentur abiectisque interaneis 
condiri. est rana parva arborem scandens atque ex 
ea vociferans ; in huius os si quis expuat ipsamque 
dimittat, tussi liberari narratur. praecipiunt et 
cocleae crudae carnem tritam bibere ex aqua calda 
in tussi cruenta. 

93 XXX. Iocineris doloribus . . . scorpio marinus in 
vino necatus, ut inde bibatur, conchae longae carnes 
ex mulso potae cum aquae pari modo aut, si febres 
sint, ex aqua mulsa. Lateris dolores leniunt hippo- 
campi tosti sumpti tetheaque similis ostreo in cibo 
sumpta, ischiadicorum muria siluri elystere infusa. 
dantur autem conchae ternis obolis dilutis in vini 
sextariis duobus per dies xv. 

94 XXXI. Alvum emollit silurus e iure et torpedo in 
cibo et olus marinum simile sativo — stomacho inimi- 
cum alvum facillime purgat, sed propter acrimoniam 
cum pingui carne coquitur — et omnium piscium ius. 
idem et urinas ciet, e vino maxime. optimum e 
scorpionibus et iulide et saxatilibus nec virus resi- 
pientibus nec pinguibus. coci debent cum aneto, 

95 apio, coriandro, porro, additis oleo, sale. purgant et 
cybia vetera, privatimque cruditates, pituitas, bilem 
trahunt. 



In fcaste? Tethea is a sea-squirt. 



BOOK XXXII. xxix. 92-xxxi. 95 

cough is said to be cured by frogs boiled down in a 
pan as are fish in their own liquor. A prescription is : 
the frogs to be hung up by the feet, their saliva 
allowed to drip into a pan, and then, after being 
gutted, they are preserved after the entrails have 
been cast aside. There is a small frog that climbs 
trees and croaks loudly out of them. If a person 
with a cough spits into the mouth of one of these and 
lets it go, he is said to be cured of the complaint. 
For a cough with spitting of blood is prescribed the 
raw flesh of a snail beaten up and taken in warm water. 

XXX. For liver pains are good : . . . a sea scorpion 
drowned in w r ine, so that the liquor may be drunk, or 
the flesh of the long mussel taken in honey wine with 
an equal quantity of water, or if there is fever in 
hydromel. Pains in the side are relieved by eating 
the flesh of the sea-horse roasted, or the tethea, 
which resembles a the oyster, taken in the food ; 
sciatica is relieved by the brine of the silurus, injected 
as an enema. Mussels too are given for fifteen days 
in doses of three oboli soaked in two sextarii of wine. 

XXXI. The bowels are relaxed by the silurus, 
taken with its broth, by the torpedo, taken in food, 
by the sea-cabbage, which is like the cultivated kind 
— it is bad for the stomach but readily purges the 
bowels, and owing to its pungency is boiled with fat 
meat — and by the liquor of any boiled fish ; the last 
is also diuretic, especially when taken in wine. The 
best is from the sea-scorpion, the wrasse, and the 
rock-fish, which are neither of a rank taste nor fatty. 
They should be boiled with dill, parsley, coriander, 
leeks, and with oil added and salt. Purgative too is 
stale tunny sliced, and it is specific for bringing away 
undigested food, phlegm and bile. 

521 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Purgant et myaces, quorum natura tota in hoc loco 
dicetur. acervantur muricum modo vivuntque in 
algosis, gratissimi autumno et ubi multa dulcis aqua 
miscetur mari, ob id in Aegypto laudatissimi. pro- 
cedente hieme amaritudinem trahunt coloremque 

96 rubrum. horum ius traditur alvum et vesicas exin- 
anire, interanea destringere, omnia adaperire, renes 
purgare, sanguinem adipemque minuere. itaque 
utilissimi sunt hydropicis, mulierum purgationibus, 
morbo regio, articulario, inflationibus, item obesis, 
fellis pituitae, 1 pulmonis, iocineris, lienis vitiis, 
rheumatismis. fauces tantum vexant vocemque 

97 obtundunt. ulcera, quae serpant aut sint purganda, 
sanant, item carcinomata cremati ut murices ; et 
morsus canum hominumque cum melle, lepras, lenti- 
gines. cinis eorum lotus emendat caligines, sca- 
britias, albugines, gingivarum et dentium vitia, 
eruptiones pituitae ; et contra dorycnium aut opo- 

98 carpathum antidoti vicem optinent. degenerant in 
duas species : mitulos, qui salem virusque resipiunt, 
myiscas quae rotunditate diflferunt, minores aliquanto 
atique hirtae, tenuioribus testis, carne dulciores. 
mituli quoque ut murices cinere causticam vim habent 
et ad lepras. lentigines, maculas. lavantur 2 quoque 
plumbi modo ad genarum crassitudines et oculorum 
albugines caliginesque atque in aliis partibus sordida 
ulcera capitisque pusulas. carnes eorum ad canis 
morsus inponuntur. 

99 At pelorides emolliunt alvum, item castorea in 

1 pituitae muUi codd.: pituitacque B: pituitae quoque 
Maykqff: an felli? 

2 lavantur] lavatur coni. Mayhoff. 

a With Mayhoff' s conjecture (probably correct) " the ash is 
washed." 

522 



BOOK XXXII. xxxi. 95-99 

The myax also is purgative, and in this place shall 
be set forth all its characteristics. These animals form 
clusters, as does the murex, and live where sea-weed 
lies thick, for which reason they are most delicious 
in autumn, and from regions where much fresh water 
mingles with salt, for which reason it is in Egypt that 
they are most esteemed. As the winter advances, 
they contract a bitter taste, and a red colour. Their 
liquor is said to be a thorough purge of belly and 
bladder, cleanses the intestines, is a universal 
aperient, purges the kidneys, and reduces blood and 
fat. Hence these shell-fish are very beneficial for 
dropsy, menstruation, jaundice, diseases of the 
joints, flatulence, obesity also, bilious phlegm, 
affections of lungs, liver, and spleen, and for catarrhs, 
Their only drawback is that they harm the throat 
and obstruct the voice. Ulcers that are creeping or 
need cleansing they heal, and also, if burnt as is the 
murex, malignant growths. With honey added they 
heal the bites of dogs and men, leprous sores, and 
freckles. Their ash, washed, is good for dim 
vision, roughness and white u]cers of the eyes, 
affections of the gums and teeth and outbursts of 
phlegm. Against dorycnium and opocarpathum they 
serve as an antidote. There are two inferior kinds : 
the mitulus, with a salty, strong taste ; the myisca, 
different in its roundness, rather smaller and hairy, 
with thinner shell and sweeter flesh. The mitulus 
too like the murex has a caustic ash good for leprous 
sores, freckles, and spots. They are washed a also 
as is lead for thick eye-lids, white ulcers, dim vision, 
dirty ulcers in other parts. and pustules 011 the head. 
Their flesh makes an application for dog bites. 

But clams relax the bowels, as does beaver oil in 

5 2 3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aqua mulsa drachmis binis. qui vehementius volunt 
uti, addunt cucumeris sativi radicis siccae drachmam 
et ephronitri duas tethea, torminibus et inflationibus 
occurrunt. inveniuntur haec in foliis maris sugentia, 
fungorum verius generis quam piscium. eadem et 

100 tenesmum dissolvunt reniumque vitia. nascitur et in 
mari apsinthium, quod aliqui seriphum vocant, circa 
Taposirum maxime Aegypti, exilius terrestri. alvum 
solvit et noxiis animalibus intestina liberat — solvunt 

101 et saepiae — ; in cibo datur cum oleo et sale et farina 
coctum. menae salsae cum felle taurino inlitae 
umbilico alvum solvunt. piscium ius in patina coc- 
torum cum lactucis tenesmum discutit. cancri fluvia- 
tiles triti et ex aqua poti alvum sistunt, urinam cient 
in vino albo. ademptis bracchiis calculos pellunt 
tribus obolis cum murra et iride singulis earum drach- 
mis, ileos et inflationes castorea cum dauci semine et 
petroselino quantum ternis digitis sumatur, ex mulsi 
calidi cyathis im, tormina vero cum aneto ex vino 
mixto. erythini in cibo sumpti sistunt alvum. 
dysentericis medentur ranae cum scilla decoctae ita, 
ut pastilli fiant, vel cor earum cum melle tritum, ut 
tradit Niceratus, morbo regio salsamentum cum 
pipere ita, ut reliqua carne abstineatur. 

102 XXXII. Lieni medetur solea piscis inpositus, item 
torpedo, item rhombus ; vivus dein remittitur in mare. 
scorpio marinus necatus in vino vesicae vitia et cal- 

5 2 4 



BOOK XXXII. xxxi. 99-xxxii. 102 

hydromel, the dose being two drachmae. Those who 
wish to use a more drastic laxative add a drachma of 
dried root of cultivated cucumber and two drachmae 
of saltpetre. Tethea cures griping and flatulence. 
It is found as a parasite on sea plants, more a kind 
of fungus rather than a fish. They also cure tenesmus 
and affections of the kidneys. There also grows in 
the sea apsinthium, which some call seriphum, found 
chiefly around Taposiris in Egypt, and is more 
slender than the land variety. It relaxes the bowels 
and brings away harmful creatures from the intes- 
tines. The cuttle-fish too is laxative. The apsin- 
thium is given in food, being boiled with oil, salt, and 
flour. Salted menae applied to the navel with bull's 
gall relax the bowels. The liquor of fish boiled in a 
pan Avith lettuce cures tenesmus. River crabs beaten 
up and taken in water are constipating but diuretic 
in a white wine. If their legs are taken off they 
bring away stone, the dose being three oboli with a 
drachma each of myrrh and iris ; iliac colic and 
flatulence are cured by beaver oil with daucus seed 
and of rock parsley as much as can be picked up in 
three fingers, taken in four cyathi of warm honey- 
wine; while for griping it should be taken with a 
mixture of dill and wine. The erythinus taken in 
food is constipating. Dysentery can be treated by 
frogs boiled with squills to make lozenges, or by their 
heart beaten up with honey, as Niceratus prescribes, 
jaundice by salted fish with pepper, but the patient 
must abstain from all other meat. 

XXXII. Splenic trouble is treated by the appli- 
cation of the fish sole, of the torpedo, or of the 
turbot, but the fish is then put back living into the 
sea. Bladder troubles and stone are cured by the 

525 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

culos sanat, lapis, qui invenitur in scorpionis marini 
cauda, pondere oboli potus, enhydridis iecur, blen- 
diorum cinis cum ruta. inveniuntur et in bacchi piscis 
capite ceu lapilli ; hi poti ex aqua calculosis praeclare 
medentur. aiunt et urticam marinam in vino potam 
prodesse, item pulmonem marinum decoctum in aqua. 

103 ova saepiae urinam movent reniumque pituitas extra- 
hunt. rupta, convolsa cancri fluviatiles triti in asinino 
maxime lacte sanant, echini vero cum spinis suis con- 
tusi et e vino poti calculos — modus singulis hemina ; 
bibitur, donec prosit — et alias in cibis ad hoc profi- 
ciunt. purgatur vesica et pectinum cibo. ex iis 
mares alii hovaKas vocant, alii auAous", feminas 6Vir\;as\ 
urinam mares movent. dulciores feminae sunt et 
unicolores. [saepiae quoque ova urinam movent et 
renes purgant]. 1 

104 XXXIII. Enterocelicis lepus marinus inlinitur 
tritus cum melle. iecur aquaticae colubrae, item 
hydri tritum potumque calculosis prodest. ischia- 
dicos liberant salsamenta e siluro infusa clysterio, 
evacuata prius alvo. sedis attritus cinis e capite mugi- 
lum et mullorum ; comburuntur autem in fictili vase, 

105 inlini cum melle debent. item capitis menarum cinis 
et ad rhagadas et ad condylomata utilis, sicut pelamy- 

1 Uncos addunt Hard., Mayhoff. 
526 



BOOK XXXII. xxxn. 102-XXXI11. 105 

sea scorpion killed in wine, by the stone which is found 
in the tail of the sea-scorpion, the dose being an 
obolus, taken in drink, by the liver of the enhydris, 
and by the ash of the blenny with rue. There are 
found too in the head of the fish bacchus as it were 
pebbles ; these taken in water are excellent treat- 
ment for stone. It is said that the sea-nettle taken 
in wine is also good for it, and likewise the pulmo 
marinus boiled down in water. The eggs of the 
cuttle-fish are diuretic and bring away phlegms from 
the kidneys. Ruptures and sprains are healed by 
river-crabs beaten up in milk, by preference asses', 
stone however by sea-urchins, spines and all, crushed 
in wine and taken in doses of a hemina to each urchin, 
this amount being drunk until benefit is apparent ; 
urchins are also beneficial generally for stone when 
taken as food. The bladder is cleansed by a diet of 
scallops. The male scallops are called by some 
o6vclk€s (reeds), by others avXot (pipes) ; the female 
they call ovvx^s (nails). The males are diuretic ; the 
females are sweeter and of a uniform colour. [The 
eggs of the cuttle-fish also are diuretic and cleanse 
the kidneys]. 

XXXIII. For intestinal hernia is applied sea-hare 
beaten up with honey. The liver of the water- 
coluber, likewise that of the water-snake, beaten up 
and taken in drink, is good for stone. Sciatica is 
cured by the brine of pickled silurus, injected as an 
enema, after previous thorough cleansing of the 
bowels ; chafing of the seat by the head of grey or 
red mullet reduced to ash. The fish are burnt in an 
earthen vessel and should be applied with honey. 
The heads too of menae, reduced to ash, are useful 
for chaps and condylomata, just as the heads of salted 

5 2 7 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dum salsarum capitum cinis vel cybiorum cum melle. 
torpedo adposita procidentis interanei morbum ibi 
coercet. cancrorum fluviatilium cinis ex oleo et cera 
rimas in eadem parte emendat, idem et marini cancri 
pollent. 

106 XXXIV. Panos salsamenta coracini x discutiunt, 
sciaenae interanea et squamae combustae, scorpio in 
vino decoctus ita, ut foveantur ex illo. at echinorum 
testae contusae et ex aqua inlitae incipientibus panis 
resistunt, muricum vel purpurarum cinis utroque 
modo, sive discutere opus sit incipientes sive concoctos 
emittere. quidam its componunt medicamentum : 
cerae et turis drachmas xx, spumae argenti xxxx, 

107 cineris muricum x, olei veteris heminam. prosunt 
per se salsamenta cocta, cancri fluviatiles triti ; 2 ver- 
endorum pusulas cinis e capite menarum, item carnes 
decoctae et inpositae, similiter percae salsae e capite 
cinis melle addito, pelamydum capitis cinis aut 

108 squatinae cutis combustae. haec est qua diximus 
lignum poliri, quoniam et a mari fabriles usus exeunt. 
prosunt et zmarides inlitae, item muricum vel pur- 
purarum testae cinis cum melle, efficacius crematarum 
cum carnibus suis. carbunculos verendorum priva- 
tim salsamenta cocta cum melle restingunt. testem, 
si descenderit, coclearum spuma inlini volunt. 

1 coracini Hermolaus Barbarus : coraeina (fortasse adiectivum) 
multi codd. : coracinosa B : coracinoru Mayhoff. 

2 Hic vult addere ad vel contra Mayhoff. 

° To govern pusulas Mayhoff adds ad. It is casy however 
to understand e.g. emendat. 

528 



BOOK XXXII. xxxiii. 105-xxxiv. 108 

pelamids, or sliced tunny, reduced to ash and applied 
with honey. An application of the torpedo to the 
intestinal region reduces a morbid procidence there. 
The ash of river-crabs in oil and wax heals cracks in 
that part; sea-crabs too have the same healing 
property. 

XXXIV. The pickle of the coracinus disperses 
superficial abscesses, as do the burnt intestines and 
scales of the sciaena, or the sea-scorpion boiled do\vn 
in wine for fomentation with that decoction. But the 
shells of sea-urchins crushed and applied with water 
are a remedy for these abscesses when incipient ; the 
murex or purple-fish reduced to ash is beneficial for 
either purpose, whether it is necessary to disperse 
incipient abscesses or to mature them and make them 
discharge. Some make up the following prescrip- 
tion : wax and frankincense twenty drachmae, 
litharge forty drachmae, ash of the murex ten 
drachmae, old oil one hemina. By themselves are 
beneficial boiled salted-fish, and pounded river-crabs. 
For a pustules on the pudenda, ash of the head of 
menae, likewise their fiesh boiled down and applied, 
similarly the ash of the head of salted perch, with 
honey added, ash of pelamids' heads, or the skin of 
burnt squatina. This skin is the one used, as I have 
said, b to polish wood, for from the sea too come useful 
things for our craftsmen. Zmarides also are beneficial 
when applied, likewise with honey the shells of the 
murex or purple-fish reduced to ash, more effectively 
if burnt with their flesh. Boiled salted fish are 
specific for reducing carbuncles on the pudenda. It 
is recommended, if a testicle hangs down, that the 
froth of snails be applied. 

6 Sec IX. § 40. 

5 2 9 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

109 XXXV. Urinae incontinentiam hippocampi tosti et 
in cibo saepius sumpti emendant, ophidion pisciculus 
congro similis cum lili radice, pisciculi minuti ex 
ventre eius, qui devoraverit, exempti cremati ita, ut 
cinus eorum bibatur ex aqua. iubent et cocleas 
Africanas cum sua carne comburi cineremque ex 
vino Signino dari. 

110 XXXVI. Podagris articulariisque morbis utile est 
oleum, in quo decocta sint ranarum intestina, et 
rubetae cinis cum adipe vetere. quidam et hordei 
cinerem adiciunt trium rerum aequo pondere. 
iubent et lepore marino recenti podagram fricari, 
fibrinis quoque pellibus calceari, maxime Pontici fibri, 
item vituli marini, cuius et adips prodest isdem, nec 
non et bryon, de quo diximus, lactucae simile, rugo- 

111 sioribus foliis, sine caule. natura ei styptica, inposi- 
tumque lenit impetus podagrae. item alga, de qua 
et ipsa dictum est. observatur in ea, ne arida inpo- 
natur. perniones emendat pulmo marinus, cancri 
marini cinis ex oleo, item fluviatiles triti ustique, 
cinere * et ex oleo subacto, 2 siluri adips. in articulis 
morborum impetus sedant ranae subinde recentes 
inpositae ; quidam dissectas iubent inponi. corpus 
auget ius mitulorum et concharum. 

112 XXXVII. Comitiales, ut diximus, coagulum vituli 
marini bibunt cum lacte equino asinaeve aut cum 

1 cinerc codd.: in cinerem coni. Sillig. 

2 subacto Mayhoff: subacti codd. 

a Green laver. See Index of Plants in Vol. VII. 

6 See XXVII. §56. 

c See § 66 of this book. d See VIII. §111. 

53° 



BOOK XXXII. xxxv. 109— xxxvii. 112 

XXXV. Incontinence of urine is remedied by the 
sea-horse, roasted and taken often as food, by the 
ophidion, a little fish like the conger, with lily-root 
added, and by the tiny fish in the belly of the fish that 
has swallowed them, taken out and burnt for their 
ash to be taken in water. They also recommend 
African snails to be burnt with their flesh, and the 
ash to be given in Signian wine. 

XXXVI. For gouty pains and for diseases of the 
joints oil is useful in which the intestines of frogs have 
been boiled down, and also the ash of bramble-toads 
mixed with stale grease. There are some who add 
to these also barley ash, taking equal weights of three 
ingredients. They recommend too a gouty foot to 
be rubbed with a fresh sea-hare, and the patient also 
to be shod with beaver skin, by preference that of the 
Pontic beaver, or else with seal skin, seal fat also 
being good for gout. Good also is bryon, a about 
which I have spoken, & a plant like the lettuce, but 
with more wrinkled leaves and without a stem. Its 
nature is styptie, and applied to the painful part it 
soothes the paroxysms of gout. Sea-weed too is 
good, about which by itself also I have spoken. c Care 
is taken with sea-weed, not to apply it dry. An 
application of pulmo marinus is a cure for chilblains, 
and so is the ash of a sea-crab in oil, river-crabs too 
pounded and burnt, the ash also being kneaded with 
oil, and the fat of the silurus. In diseases of the 
joints paroxysms are soothed by applying fresh frogs 
every now and then ; some recommend them to be 
cut up before being applied. Flesh is put on by the 
liquid of mussels and of shell-fish generally. 

XXXVII. Epilepsy, as I have said, d is treated by 
doses of seals' rennet with mares' or asses' milk, or 

531 



PLIXY: XATURAL HISTORY 

Punici suco, quidam ex aceto mulso. nec non aliqui 
per se pilulas devorant. castoreum in aceti mulsi 
cyathis tribus ieiunis datur, iis vero, qui saepius corri- 
piantur, clystere infusum mirifice prodest. castorei 
drachmae duae esse debebunt, mellis et olei sextarius 
et aquae tantundem. ad praesens vero correptis 
olfactu subvenit cum aceto. datur et mustelae 
marinae iocur, item muris, vel testudinum sanguis. 

113 XXXVIII. Febrium circuitus tollit iocur delphini 
gustatum ante accessiones. hippocampi necantur in 
rosaceo, ut perunguantur aegri frigidis febribus, et 
ipsi adalligantur aegris. item ex asello pisce lapilli, 
qui plena luna inveniuntur in capite, alligantur in 
linteolo. phagri fluviatilis longissimus dens capillo 
adalligatus ita, ut quinque diebus eum, qui adalli- 
gaverit, non cernat aeger, ranae in trivio decoctae 
oleo abiectis carnibus perunctos liberant quartanis. 

114 sunt qui strangulatas in oleo ipsas clam adalligent 
oleoque eo perunguant. cor earum adalligatum fri- 
gora febrium minuit et oleum, in quo intestina de- 
cocta sint. maxime autem quartanis liberant ablatis 
unguibus ranae atque 2 adalligatae et rubeta, si 
iocur eius vel cor adalligetur in panno leucophaeo. 
cancri fluviatiles triti in oleo et aqua perunctis ante 

1 atque codd. : aequc Maijhoff. 
532 



BOOK XXXII. xxxvn. 112 xxxviii. 114 

with pomegranatc juice ; some prescribe it in oxymel. 

Some too swallow the rennet by itself, made up into 
pills. Beaver oil in three cyathi of oxymel is given 
on an empty stomach ; those however frequently 
attacked are beneflted wonderfully by a clyster ; of 
the beaver oil there should be two drachmae, of 
honey and oil a sextarius, and the same quantity of 
water. If indeed persons have a momentary seizure 
it is beneficial to give the patients beaver oil and 
vinegar to smell. There is also given the liver of the 
sea-weasel, or of the sea-mouse, or the blood of tor- 
toises. 

XXXVIII. Recurrent fevers are cured by a 
dolphin's liver, taken before the paroxysms. Sea- 
horses are killed in rose-oil, to make ointment for 
those sick of chill fevers, and sea-horses themselves 
are worn as an amulet by the patients. The little 
stones also that at a full moon are found in the head 
of the fish asellus, are tied on the patient in a linen 
cloth. Quartans are cured by the longest tooth of 
the river fish phagrus, tied with a hair on the patient 
as an amulet, but the patient must not discern the 
person who attached it for five days ; also by rubbing 
with the grease of frogs boiled in oil at a place where 
three roads meet, the flesh being first thrown away. 
Some drown frogs in oil, attach secretly as an amulet, 
and rub the patient thoroughly with the oil. The 
heart of frogs attached as an amulet, and the oil in 
wliich their entrails have been boiled, relieve the 
chills of fevers. The best cure for quartans, however, 
is a frog, worn as an amulet with its claws taken off, 
or a bramble-toad, if its liver or heart is worn as an 
amulet in a piece of ash-coloured cloth. River- 
crabs, pounded in oil and water and thoroughly 

533 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

accessiones in febribus prosunt : aliqui et piper 

115 addunt. alii deeoctos ad quartas in vino e balineo 
egressis bibere suadent in quartanis, aliqui sinistrum 
oculum devorare. Magi oculis eorum ante solis 
ortum adalligatis aegro ita, ut caecos dimittant in 

116 aquam, tertianas abigi promittunt. eosdem oculos 
cum carnibus lusciniae in pelle cervina inligatos 
praestare vigiliam somno fugato tradunt. in lethar- 
gum vergentibus coagulo ballaenae aut vituli marini 
ad olfactum utuntur. alii sanguinem testudinis 
lethargicis inlinunt. tertianis mederi dicitur et 
spondylus percae adalligatus, quartanis cocleae 
fluviatiles in cibo recentes ; quidam ob id adservant 
sale, ut dent tritas in potu. 

117 XXXIX. Strombi in aceto putrefacti lethargicos 
excitant odore. prosunt et cardiacis. cachectis, 
quorum corpus macie conficitur, tethea utilias unt 
cum ruta ac melle. hydropicis medetur adips 
delphini liquatus et cum vino potus. gravitati 
saporis occurritur tactis naribus unguento aut odori- 
bus vel quoquo modo opturatis. strombi quoque 
carnes tritae et in mulsi tribus heminis pari modo 
aquae aut, si febres sint. ex aqua mulsa datae pro- 

118 ficiunt, item sucus cancrorum fluviatilium cum melle, 
rana quoque aquatica in vino vetere et farre decocta 
ac pro cibo sumpta ita, ut bibatur ex eodem vase, vel 

a Or: turtle. 
534 



BOOK XXXII. xxxviii. 114-xxxix. 118 

rubbed over the patient before the paroxysms, are 
beneficial in fevers ; some add pepper also. Others 
prescribe them for quartans boiled down to a quarter 
in wine, to be taken after leaving the bath ; some, 
however, the left eye to be swallowed. The Magi 
assure us that tertian fevers are driven away by crabs' 
eyes, attached as an amulet before sunrise to the 
patient, but the blinded crabs must be set free into 
water. The Magi also teach that crabs' eyes, tied 
on with the flesh of a nightingale in deer skin, drive 
away sleep and cause watchfulness. For those 
sinking into lethargus they prescribe that the patient 
smell the rennet of the whale or that of the seal. 
Others use as embrocation for lethargus the blood of 
a tortoise. It is also said that tertians are treated 
successfully by the vertebra of a perch worn as an 
amulet ; quartans by fresh river snails taken as food. 
Some preserve them in salt for this purpose, to 
administer them, beaten up, in a draught. 

XXXIX. Strombi rotted in vinegar rouse by the 
smell the victims of lethargus. They are also good 
for those with stomach complaints. Those in a 
decline, with a body seriously wasting away, find 
beneficial tethea with rue and honey. Dropsy is 
treated with melted dolphin fat taken with wine. 
The nauseating taste is neutralised by touching the 
nostrils with unguent or scents, or plugging them in 
any suitable way. The flesh of the strombus also, 
pounded and given in three heminae of honey wine 
and an equal measure of water, or should there be 
fever, in hydromel, benefit the dropsical ; likewise 
the juice of river crabs with honey ; water frogs too 
are boiled down in old wine and emmer wheat, and 
then taken as food but out of the same vessel as 

535 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

testudo decisis pedibus, capite, cauda et intcstinis 
exemptis, reliqua carne ita condita, ut citra fastidium 
sumi possit. cancri fiuviatiles ex iure sumpti et 
phthisicis prodesse traduntur. 

119 XL. Adusta sanantur cancri marini vel fluviatilis 
cinere ex oleo ; ichthyocolla, ranarum cinere ea, quae 
fervcnti aqua combusta sint ; haec curatio etiam pilos 
restituit. 1 cancrorum fluviatilium cinere putant 
utendum cum cera et adipe ursino. prodest et 
fibrinarum pellium cinis. ignes sacros restingunt 
ranarum viventium ventres inpositi, pedibus post- 
erioribus pronas adalligari iubent, ut crebriore an- 
helitu prosint. utuntur et silurorum salsamenti 
capitum cinere ex aceto. pruritum scabiemque non 
hominum modo, sed et quadripedum efficacissime 
sedat iecur pastinacae decoctum in oleo. 

120 XLI. Nervos vel praecisos purpurarum callum, quo 
se operiunt, tusum glutinat. tetanicos coagulum 
vituli adiuvat ex vino potum oboli pondere, item 
ichthyocolla, tremulos castoreum, si ex oleo perun- 
guantur. mullos in cibo inutiles 2 nervis invenio. 

121 XLII. Sanguinem fieri piscium cibo putant, sisti 
polypo tuso inlito, de quo et haec traduntur : muriam 
ipsum ex sese emittere et ideo non debere addi in 
coquendo, secari harundine, ferro enim infici vitium- 
que trahere natura dissidente. ad sanguinem sisten- 

1 II ic codd. cum habent: item Moyhoff. Fortasse cum ex aut 
cancrorum aut cum cera ortum. 

2 utiles coni. Warmington. 



a Or: turtle. 

b In a Book dealing with fish remedies vituli cannot mean 
an ordinary " calf." 

c I so translate because of ex. 

53« 



BOOK XXXII. xxxix. iiS-xlii. 121 

cooked : a tortoise " witfa feet, head, tail, and entrails 

taken <>ut. the remaining flesh being so seasoned that 
it ean be taken without nausea. River crabs taken 
in their juiee are also reported to be benefieial to 
consumptives. 

XL. Burns are healed by the ash in oil of a sea erab 
or river erab: by fish glue, or by the ash of frogs, the 
sealds caused by boiling water : this treatment also 
restores the lost hair. They think that the ash of 
river crabs should be used with wax and bear's 
grease. Benefieial also is the ash of beaver pelts. 
Krvsipelas disappears under the application of the 
bellies of live frogs ; they recommend the frogs to be 
tied on upside down by their hind legs. so that their 
rapid breathing may be of benefit. They also use 
the ash in vinegar of the heads of salted siluri. 
Pruritus and itch-scab in quadrupeds as well as in man 
are relieved with great efficacy by the liver of the 
sting-rav boiled down in oil. 

XLI. The hard operculum. with which the purple- 
fish shuts its body from view, when beaten up, unites 
cut sinews even when severed. Patients with tetanus 
are relieved by an obolus by weight of seal's b ren- 
net taken in wine : also by tish glue. The palsied ob- 
tain benefit from beaver oil, if they are thoroughly 
rubbed with it and olive oil. c I find that red mullet 
as a food is injurious to the sinews. 

XLII. They think that to eat fish causes bleeding, 
but that haemorrhage is stopped by crushing and ap- 
plying the polypus, about which are current the follow- 
ing reports. It of itself gives out of itself brine. and 
therefore none should be added in cooking : it should 
be cut with a reed, for iron spoils it and leaves a taint. 
as the natures of the two quarrel. To stop bleeding 

537 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

duni et ranarum inlinunt cinerem vel sanguinem 

122 arefactum. quidam ex ea rana, quam Graeci cala- 
miten vocant, quoniam inter harundines fruticesque 
vivat, minima omnium et viridissima, sanguinem 
cineremve fieri * iubent, aliqui et nascentium ranarum 
in aqua, quibus adhuc cauda est, in calice novo com- 
bustarum cinerem, si per nares fluat, inferciendum. 2 

123 diversus hirudinum, quas sanguisugas vocant, ad 
extrahendum sanguinem usus est. quippe eadem 
ratio earum, quae cucurbitarum medicinalium, ad 
corpora levanda sanguine, spiramenta laxanda iudi- 
catur, sed vitium, quod admissae semel desiderium 
faciunt circa eadem tempora anni semper eiusdem 
medicinae. multi podagris quoque admittendas 
censuere. decidunt satiatae et pondere ipso san- 
guinis detractae aut sale adspersae ; aliquando tamen 
relinquunt adfixa capita, quae causa volnera insana- 
bilia facit et multos interemit, sicut Messalinum e 
consularibus patriciis, cum ad genu 3 admisisset, in 
veneni 4 virus remedio verso. maxime rufae ita 

124 formidantur ; ergo sugentes 5 forficibus praecidunt, 
ac velut siphonibus defluit sanguis, paulatimque 
morientium capita se contrahunt, nec relinquuntur. 
natura earum adversatur cimicibus, suffitu necat eos. 
fibrinarum pellium cum pice liquida combustarum 
cinis narium profluvia sistit suco porri mollitus. 

125 XLIII. Extrahit corpori tela inhaerentia saepiarum 

1 Inlini coni. Warmington. 

- inferciendum Ianus: imperficiendum codd. 

3 genu B 2 E: genum B^RdT: gcnam coni. Mayhoff. 

4 in veneni Ianus: invenit B: inveniunt muUi codd. 

5 sugentes Sillig: (sugere?) ursas B 1 : oras VRdT : sugere 
orsas Mayhoff ex mullis lectionibus et coniecturis. 



538 



The Greek /<dAa/zo? means a reed. 



BOOK XXXII. xlii. 121-XLiii. 125 

they also apply the ash of frogs or their dried blood. 
Some recommend the blood or ash to come from the 
frog called by the Greeks calamites, a because it lives 
among reeds and shrubs, the smallest and greenest 
of all frogs ; some that the ash of frogs at their birth 
in water, while still tadpoles with a tail, and calcined 
in a new earthen vessel, should be stufFed into the 
nostrils of those with epistaxis. Opposite is the use 
of leeches, called sanguisugae, b which are employed 
to extract blood. For these are supposed to have 
the same purpose as that of cupping-glasses, to relieve 
the body of blood and to open the pores of the skin ; 
but an objection is that once applied they create a 
craving for the same treatment every year at about 
the same time. Many have been of opinion that 
leeches should be applied also for gout. When 
gorged leeches fall off, detached by the mere weight 
of blood or by a sprinkle of salt ; sometimes however 
they leave their heads stuck fast in the flesh, thus 
causing incurable wounds that have often proved 
fatal. An instance is Messalinus, a patrician of con- 
sular rank, who applied leeches to his knee, c and the 
remedy turned to a virulent poison. It is especially 
red leeches that are so dreaded ; so they cut them off 
with scissors while they are sucking, and the blood 
runs down as it were through tubes ; as they die their 
heads little bv little contract, and are not left in the 
bite. The nature of leeches is adverse to that of 
bugs, which are killed if fumigated with leeches. 
Beaver skins, burnt with liquid pitch and softened 
with leek juice, arrest discharges from the nostrils. 
XLIII. Weapons sticking in the flesh are drawn 

b I.e. " blood-suckers." 

c With MayhofFs suggestion, " cheek." 

539 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

testae cinis, item purpurarum testae ex aqua, salsa- 

mentorum carnes, cancri fluviatiles triti, siluri 
fluviatilis, qui et alibi quam in Nilo nascitur, 
carnes inpositae, recentis sive salsi. eiusdem cinis 
extrahit, adips et cinis spinae eius vicem spodii 
praebet. 

126 XLIV. Ulcera, quae serpunt, et quae in iis ex- 
crescunt capitis menarum cinis vel siluri coercet, car- 
cinomata percarum capita salsarum, efficacius si 
cinere earum misceantur x sal et cunila capitata 
oleoque subigantur. cancri marini cinis usti cum 
plumbo carcinomata compescit. ad hoc et fluviatilis 
sufricit cum melle lineaque lanugine ; aliqui malunt 
alumen melque miscere 2 cineri. phagedaenae siluro 
inveterato et cum sandaraca trito, cacoethe et nomae 
et putrescentia cybio vetere sanantur ; vermes innati 

127 ranarum felle tolluntur. fistulae aperiuntur siccan- 
turque salsamentis cum linteolo inmissis, intraque 
alterum diem callum omnem auferunt et putre- 
scentia ulcerum quaeque serpant emplastri modo 
subacta et inlita. et allex purgat ulcera in linteolis 
concerptis, item echinorum testae cinis. carbunculos 
coracinorum salsamenta inlita discutiunt, item mul- 
lorum salsamenti cinis — quidam capite tantum utun- 
tur cum melle — vel coracinorum carnes. muricum 
cinis cum oleo tumores tollit, cicatrices fel scorpionis 
marini. 

128 XLY. Yerrucas tollit glani iocur inlitum, capitis 

1 misceantur coni. Mayhoff: misceatur codd. 

2 miscere multi codd.: misceri B. Sillig, Mayhoff. 

a See List of Diseases. 

b See Index of Plants in Vol. VII. 

r Allex (variously spelt) is fish pickle. 

540 



BOOK XXXII. xliii. 125-xLv. 128 

out by the ash in water of the shell of the cuttle-fish, 
also of the shell of the purple-fish, by the flesh of 
salted fish, by river-crabs beaten up, by an applica- 
tion of the flesh of the river silurus (which is found in 
other rivers besides the Nile), whether fresh or pre- 
served in salt. The ash of the same fish draws out 
sharp bodies ; its fat and the ash of its back-bone 
take the place of spodium. 

XLIY. Creeping ulcers and the excrescences that 
form in them are checked by ash of menae or of the 
silurus, carcinomata ° by heads of salted perch, with 
more effect if with their ash are mixed salt and 
headed cunila, 6 and the whole kneaded with oil. The 
ash of a sea crab that has been burnt with lead checks 
carcinomata. For this purpose river crab too sufhces 
with honey and fine lint. Some prefer to mix alum 
and honey with the ash. Phagedaenic ulcers are 
healed by silurus kept till stale and beaten up with 
sandarach ; malignant ulcers, corrosive ulcers, and 
festering sores by old tunny sliced ; the maggots that 
breed in them are removed by frogs' gall. Fistulas 
are opened and dried up by salted fish inserted with 
lint ; within two days such fish remove all callus, 
festering sores, and creeping ulcers, if kneaded up as 
for a plaster and applied. Allex c also applied in 
strips of lint cleans sores ; likewise the shell of sea- 
urchins, reduced to ash. Carbuncles are dispersed if 
treated with salted coracinus, likewise with the ash 
of salted red mullet — some use the head only with 
honey — or with the flesh of coracinus. Ash of murex 
with oil removes swellings, and the gall of the sea 
scorpion scars. 

XLV. Warts are removed by an application of the 
liver of the glanus, of menae ash beaten up with 

541 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

menarum cinis cum alio tritus — ad thymia crudis 
utuntur — fel scorpionis marini rufi, zmarides tritae 
inlitae, allex defervefacta. unguium scabritiam cinis 
e capite menarum extenuat. 

129 XLVI. Mulieribus lactis copiam facit glauciscus e 
iure sumptus et zmarides cum tisana sumptae vel cum 
feniculo decoctae. mammas ipsas muricum vel pur- 
purae testarum cinis cum melle efficaciter sanat, item 
cancri inliti fluviatiles vel marini. pilos in mamma 
muricum carnes inpositae tollunt. squatinae inlitae 
crescere mammas non patiuntur. delphini adipe 
linamenta tincta l accensa excitant volva strangulata 

130 oppressas, item strombi in aceto putrefacti. per- 
carum vel menarum capitis cinis sale admixto et cunila 
oleoque volvae medetur, suffitione quoque secundas 
detrahit. item vituli marini adips instillatur igni 
naribus intermortuarum volvae vitio, coagulo eiusdem 
in vellere inposito. pulmo marinus alligatus purgat 
egregie profluvia, echini viventes tusi et in vino dulci 
poti sistunt et cancri fluviatiles triti in vino potique. 

131 item siluri suffitu, praecipue Africi, faciliores partus 
facere dicuntur, cancri ex aqua poti profluvia sistere, 
ex hysopo purgare. et si partus strangulet, 2 similiter 
poti auxiliantur. eosdem recentes vel aridos bibunt 

1 tincta add. Brakman, inlita Mayhoff, post C. F. W. Muller. 

2 strangulet VR: stranguletur d (?). 

° The Greek dvfxiov, a large wart. 

6 Brakman's tincta is perhaps better than Mayhoffs inlita, 
as illino in Pliny is regularly used of applying medicaments 
to the human body. 

c Or: " ailment of the womb." 

542 



BOOK XXXII. xlv. 128-xLvi. 131 

garlic — for thyniion a warts they use the materials 
raw — by the gall of the red sea scorpion, by zmarides 
beaten up and applied, and by allex thoroughly 
boiled. Rough nails are smoothed by the ash of 
menae heads. 

XLYI. Milk in women is made plentiful by 
glauciscus taken with its liquor, by zmarides taken 
with barley water or boiled down with fennel. The 
breasts themselves are treated efficaciously by shells 
of murex or purple fish reduced to ash and combined 
with honey ; by crabs too, river or sea, applied 
locally. The flesh of the murex if applied removes 
hair growing on the breasts. Squatinae applied 
prevent their swelling. Lint, smeared b with dolphin's 
fat and then set alight, arouse women suffering from 
hysterical suffocations ; likewise strombi rotted in 
vinegar. The ash of the heads of perch or menae, 
mixed with salt, cunila, and oil, is healing to the 
uterus ; by fumigation also it brings away the after- 
birth. The fat of the seal melted in the fire is in- 
serted into the nostrils of women swooning from 
hysterical suffocation, c or else seal's rennet used as a 
pessary in a piece of fleece. The pulmo marinus, tied 
on/* is an excellent promoter of menstruation, which 
is checked by living sea urchins pounded up and taken 
in a sweet wine or by river crabs beaten up and so 
taken. Siluri also, especially the African, are said 
to make easier the birth of children, crabs taken in 
water to arrest menstruation, taken in hyssop to 
promote it. If birth causes choking, e the same 
medicament taken in drink is a help. Crabs, fresh 

d Here apparently as an amulet, although that is usually 
aduUigare. 

c With the reading stranguletur : il if the child chokes." 

543 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ad partus continendos. Hippocrates et ad purga- 
tiones mortuosque partus utitur illis, cum quinis, 
lapathi radice rutaeque, et fuligine trita et in mulso 

132 data potui. iidem in iure cocti cum lapatho et apio 
menstruas purgationes expediunt lactisque uber- 
tatem faciunt, iidem in febri, quae sit cum capitis 
doloribus et oculorum palpitatione, mulieribus in vino 
austero dati prodesse dicuntur. castoreum ex mulso 
potum purgationibus prodest contraque volvam ol- 

133 factum cum aceto et pice aut subditum pastillis. ad 
secundas etiam uti eodem prodest cum panace in 
quattuor cyathis vini et a frigore laborantibus ternis 
obolis. sed si castoreum flbrumve supergrediatur 
gravida, abortum facere dicitur et periclitari partu, 
si superferatur. mirum est et quod de torpedine 
invenio, si capiatur cum luna in libra sit, triduoque 
adservetur sub diu, faciles partus facere postea, 
quotiens inferatur. adiuvare et pastinacae radius 
adalligatus umbilico existumatur, si viventi ablatus 

134 sit, ipsa in mare dimissa. invenio apud quosdam 
ostraceum vocari quod aliqui onychen vocent ; hoc 
suffitum volvae poenis mire resistere; odorem esse 
castorei, meliusque cum eo ustum proficere ; vetera 
quoque ulcera et cacoethe eiusdem cinere sanari. 
nam carbunculos et carcinomata in muliebri parte 
praesentissimo remedio sanari tradunt cancro femina 

a See WomerCs Diseases, Littre VIII, p. 220. In the Greek 
it is five crabs, etc., to be taken thrice fasting. 
6 A little shell. 
c A nail or claw. 

544 



BOOK XXXII. xlvi. 131-134 

or dried, are taken in drink to prevent miscarriage. 
Hippocrates a uses them to promote menstruation 
and to withdraw a dead foetus ; five crabs, root of 
lapathum and of rue, with some soot, are beaten up, 
and given to drink in honey wine. Crabs, boiled in 
their liquor with lapathum and celery, hasten on the 
monthly flow and produce a plentiful supply of milk ; 
in fever accompanied by pains in the head and palpi- 
tation of the eyes, are said to be good for women when 
given in a dry wine. Beaver oil taken in honey wine 
is good for menstruation, as also for troubles of the 
uterus if given to smell with vinegar and pitch, or 
made into tablets for a pessary. To bring away the 
afterbirth it is also useful to use beaver oil with panaces 
in four cyathi of wine, and three-obol doses for those 
suffering from chill. If, however, a pregnant woman 
steps over beaver oil or a beaver, it is said to cause a 
miscarriage, and a dangerous confinement if it is 
carried over her. What I nnd about the torpedo is 
also wonderful : that, if it is caught when the moon is 
in Libra and kept for three days in the open, it makes 
parturition easy every time afterwards that it is 
brought into the room. It is thought to be helpful 
too if the sting of the sting-ray is worn as an amulet 
on the navel, but it must be taken from a living fish, 
which itself must be cast into the sea. I find in some 
writers that there is a substance called ostraceum, b 
called by some onyx c ; that this by fumigation 
wonderfully counteracts severe pains of the uterus ; 
that it has the smell of beaver oil, and is more effica- 
cious if burnt with it ; that the ash also of the same 
substance cures chronic or malignant ulcers. But 
carbuncles and cancerous sores on a womans privates 
have, they say, a sovereign remedy in a female crab 

545 

VOL. VIII. T 



PLINY: XATURAL HISTORY 

cum salis flore contuso post plenam lunam et ex aqua 
inlito. 

135 XLYII. Psilotrum est thynni sanguis, fel, iocur, 
sive recentia sive servata, iocur etiam tritum mixto- 
que cedrio plumbea pyxide adservatum. ita pueros 
mangonicavit Salpe obstetrix. eadem vis pulmoni * 
marino 2 leporis marini sanguini 3 et felli 4 vel si in 
oleo lepus hic necetur. . . . 5 cancri, scolopendrae 
marinae cinis cum oleo, urtica marina trita ex aceto 
scillite, torpedinis cerebrum cum alumine inlitum xvi 

136 luna. ranae parvae, quam in oculorum curatione 
descripsimus, sanies efficacissimum psilotrum est, si 
recens inlinatur, et ipsa arefacta ac tusa, mox decocta 
tribus heminis ad tertias vel in oleo decocta aereis 
vasis. eadem mensura alii ex xv ranis conficiunt 
psilotrum, sicut in oculis diximus. sanguisugae quo- 
que tostae in vase fictili et ex aceto inlitae eundem 
contra pilos habent effectum. [Hic suffitus urentium 
eas necat cimices]. inuncto castoreo quoque cum 
melle pro psilotro usi pluribus diebus reperiuntur. 
in omni autem psilotro evellendi prius sunt pili. 

137 XLVIII. Infantium gingivis dentitionibusque 

1 pulmoni codd. : pulmonis vulg., Mayhoff. 

2 marino VRcl: marini Bb. vulg. Mayhoff. 

3 sanguini multi codd.: sanguine E, vulg., Mayhoff. 

4 felli dT Hard. : felle Mayhoff cum multis codd. 

5 Hic lacunam indicat Mayhoff. 



a The best kind of salt. 

b Maykoff suggests that the words item adhibetur or the like 
have fallen out here. The ending -etur may have caused the 
omission of one verb. 

546 



BOOK XXXII. xlvi. 134-xLvm. 137 

crushed up with flower of salt B after a full moon and 
applied in water. 

XLVII. Superfluous hair is removed by blood, gall, 
and liver of the tunny, whether fresh or preserved, 
by the liver too when beaten up, mixed with cedar 
oil, and stored in a leaden box. In this way slave 
boys were prepared for market by Salpe the midwife. 
The same property is found in the pulmo marinus, in 
the blood and gall of the sea hare, or this hare itself 
killed in oil. 6 There is also used the ash of the crab 
or of the sea scolopendra with oil, the sea anemone 
beaten up in squill vinegar, or the brain of the tor- 
pedo applied with alum on the sixteenth day of the 
moon. The blood-like matter (sanies) given out by 
the small frog, that we have spoken of c in the treat- 
ment of the eyes, is a most efficacious depilatory if 
applied fresh ; and so is the frog itself, dried and 
pounded up, and then boiled down to one third in 
three heminae, or boiled down in oil in brazen vessels. 
Others make a depilatory out of fifteen frogs treated 
with the same proportions of liquid, as we mentioned 
when treating of the eyes. d Leeches also, roasted in 
an earthen vessel and applied with vinegar, have the 
same effect in extracting hair. The fumes that come 
from those burning the leeches kill bugs. e There are 
also found those who have used for several days as a 
depilatory rubbing with beaver oil and honey. Be- 
fore using however any depilatory the hairs must first 
be pulled out. 

XLVIII. The gums and the teething of infants are 

c See § 74 of this Book. 

d See § 75 of this Book; eadem mensura could be taken with 
the preceding sentence. 

* This sentence is bracketed by Mayhoff. 

547 



PLINY: NATIRAL HISTORY 

plurimum confert delphini cum melle dentium cinis et 
si ipso dente gingivae tangantur. adalligatus idem 
pavores repentinos tollit. idem effectus et caniculae 
dentis. ulcera vero, quae in auribus aut ulla parte 
corporis fiant, cancrorum fluviatilium sucus cum 

138 farina hordeacea sanat. et ad reliquos morbos triti in 
oleo perunctis prosunt. siriasim infantium spongea 
frigida cerebro umefacto rana inversa adalligata 
efficacissime sanat. aridam inveniri adfirmant. 

XLIX. Mullus in vino necatus vel piscis rubellio 
vel anguillae duae, item uva marina in vino putrefacta 
iis, qui inde biberint, taedium vini adfert. 

139 L. Venerem inhibet echeneis, hippopotamii frontis 
e sinistra parte pellis in agnina adalligata, fel torpe- 
dinis vivae genitalibus inlitum. concitant coclearum 
fluviatilium carnes sale adservatae et in potu ex vino 
datae, erythini in cibo sumpti, iocur ranae diopetis 
vel calamitis in pellicula gruis adalligatum vel dens 
crocodili maxillaris adnexus bracchio vel hippo- 
campus vel nervi rubetae dextro lacerto adalligati. 
amorem finit in pecoris recenti corio rubeta adalligata. 

140 LI. Equorum scabiem ranae decoctae in aqua e\- 



a See List of Diseases. 
548 



BOOE XXXII. xlviii. 137-Li. 140 

helped very mueh by a dolphirTs teeth reduced to ash 
and added to honey, and also if the gums are touched 
with a tooth itself. As an amulet a dolphin's tooth 
removes a child's sudden terrors. The same also is 
the effect of a tooth of the canicula. The sores how- 
ever that form in the ears or on any part of the body 
are cured by the juice of river crabs with barley meal. 
The other diseases too are relieved if the patients are 
thoroughly rubbed with river crabs pounded in oil. 
For siriasis a in babies a very efficaeious cure is a frog 
tied as an amulet baek to front on the infant's skull b 
moistened with a cold sponge. The sponge is said 
to be found dry afterwards. 

XLIX. Red mullet killed in wine, or the fish 
rubellio, or two eels, also a sea grape rotted in wine, 
brings a distaste for wine to those who have drunk 
of the liquor. 

L. Antaphrodisiac are the echeneis, hide from the 
left side of the forehead of a hippopotamus attached as 
an amulet in lamb skin, or the gall of the torpedo, 
while it is still alive, applied to the genitals. Aphro- 
disiac is the flesh of river snails preserved in salt and 
given to drink in wine, erythini taken as food, the liver 
of the frog diopetes or calamites, attached as an amu- 
let in a little piece of crane's skin, or the maxillary 
tooth of a crocodile tied to the forearm, or the hippo- 
campus, or the sinews of a bramble toad worn as an 
amulet on the right upper arm. Love is killed by a 
bramble toad worn as an amulet in a fresh piece of 
sheep's skin. 

LI. Itch scab in horses is relieved by frogs boiled 

6 The Bohn translation suggests that crebro, " from time to 
time " is the correct reading. It is not mentioned by 
Mayhoff. 

549 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tenuant, donec inlini possint. aiunt * ita curatos l 

non repeti postea. Salpe negat eanes latrare, quibns 
in offa rana viva data sit. 

LII. Inter aquatilia diei debet et calamochnus, 
Latine adarca appellata. nascitur circa harundines 
tenues e spuma aquae dulcis ac marinae, ubi se 
miscent. vim habet causticam, ideo acopis utilis et 
contra perfrictionum vitia. tollit et mulierum lenti- 

141 gines in facie. et calami simul dici debent : phrag- 
mitis radix recens tusa luxatis medetur et spinae 
doloribus ex aceto inlita, Cyprii vero, qui et donax 
vocatur, cortex alopeciis medetur ustus et ulceribus 
veteratis, 3 folia extrahendis quae infixa sint corpori 
et igni sacro. paniculae flos aures si intravit, 
exsurdat. sepiae atramento tanta vis est, ut in lu- 
cernam 4 addito Aethiopas videri ablato priore lumine 
Anaxilaus tradat. rubeta excocta aqua potui data 
suum morbis medetur vel cuiuscumque ranae cinis. 
pulmone marino si confricetur lignum, ardere videtur 
adeo, ut baculum ita praeluceat. 

142 LIII. Peractis aquatilium dotibus non alienum 
videtur indicare per tot maria, tam vasta et tot milibus 
passuum terrae infusa extraque circumdata mensura, 
paene ipsius mundi quae intellegatur, animalia cen- 

1 aiunt et coni. Mayhoff. 

2 curatos sic coni. Mayhoff. 

3 inveteratis coni. Mayhoff: veteratis; folia <utilia> coni. 
Warmington. 

1 luccrnam Mayhoff: lucerna codd. 



a Probably e.g. at strangers. The Bohn translators have : 
" lose the power of barking." Perhaps when they see the 
frog. 

550 



BOOK XXXII. li. 140-Lin. 142 

down in water until they can be used as ointment. 
It is said that a horse so treated is never attacked 
again afterwards. Salpe says that dogs do not bark a 
if a live frog has been put into their mess. 

LII. Among water creatures ought also to be 
mentioned calamochnus, the Latin name of which is 
adarca. It collects around thin reeds from the 
foam forming where fresh and sea water mingle. It 
has a caustic property, and is therefore useful for 
tonic pills and to cure cold shiverings. It also 
removes freckles on the face of women. At the 
same time reeds should be spoken of. The root of 
phragmites, pounded fresh, cures dislocations, and 
applied with vinegar pains in the spine ; the Cyprian 
reed indeed, also called donax, has a bark which when 
calcined cures mange and chronic ulcers, and its 
leaves extract things embedded in the flesh, and help 
erysipelas. The flower of the reed panicula causes 
complete deafness if it has entered the ears. The 
ink of the cuttle fish has so great power that 
Anaxilaus reports that poured into a lamp the 
former light utterly vanishes, and people appear as 
black as Ethiopians. A bramble toad thoroughly 
boiled in water and given to drink cures pigs' diseases, 
as does the ash of any frog or toad. If wood is 
thoroughly rubbed with pulmo marinus it seems to 
be on fire, so much so that a walking-stick, so treated, 
throws a light forward. 

LIII. Xow that I have completed my account of 
the natural qualities of aquatic plants and animals, it 
seems to me not foreign to my purpose to point out 
that, throughout all the seas which are so numerous 
and spacious and come flooding into the landmass 
over so many miles and surround it outside to 

55 1 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tum quadraginta quattuor omnino generum esse 
eaque nominatim eomplecti, quod in terrestribus 

143 volueribusque fieri non quit. neque enim omnes 
Indiae Aethiopiaeque aut Scythiae desertorumve 
novimus feras aut volucres, cum hominum ipsorum 
multo plurimae sint differentiae, quas invenire potui- 
mus. accedat his Taprobane insulaeque aliae atque 
aliae * oceani fabulose narratae. profecto conveniet 
non posse omnia genera in contemplationem univer- 
sam vocari. at, Hercules, in tanto mari oceanoque 
quae nascuntur certa sunt, notioraque, quod miremur, 
quae profundo natura mersit. 

144 Ut a beluis ordiamur, arbores, physeteres, ballae- 
nae, pistrices, Tritones, Nereides, elephanti, homines 
qui marini vocantur, rotae, orcae, arietes, musculi et 
alii piscium forma [arietes], 2 delphini celebresque 
Homero vituli, luxuriae vero testudines et medicis 
fibri — quorum generis lutras nusquam mari accepi- 

145 mus mergi, tantum marina dicentes— iam caniculae, 
drinones, cornutae, gladii, serrae, communesque 
terrae, mari, amni hippopotami, crocodili, et amni 
tantum ac mari thynni, thynnides, siluri, coracini, 
percae. 

Peculiares autem maris acipenser, aurata, asellus, 

1 aliae atque Mayhoff: aliaeq B: omm. rell. 

2 arietes seclud. War??iing(on ; quadripedes Birt : terrestres 
coni. Mayhoff. 

a Od., IV, 436. 

6 In fact otters do somctimes enter the sea at estuaries, 
•\vhile beavers do not. 

c In sections 145-153 there are many variants in thc 
names of fish. We note a few only. See Index of Fishes. 

552 



BOOK XXXII. liii. 142-145 

an extent which might be thought of as almost 
equal to that of the world itself — there are one 
hundred and forty-four species in all ; and that they 
can be included each under its own name, a thing 
which, in the case of creatures of the land and those 
which fly, cannot be done. For in fact we do not 
know all the wild animals and flying creatures of 
India and Ethiopia and Syria ; while even of mankind 
itself the varieties which we have been able to dis- 
cover are the greatest in number by far. Add to this 
Ceylon and various other islands of the ocean about 
which fabulous tales are told. Surely it will be 
agreed that not all the species can be brought under 
one general view for our consideration. On the 
other hand, upon my solemn word, in the sea, vast 
though it is, and in the ocean, the number of animals 
produced is known ; and — we may well wonder at 
this — we are better acquainted with the things which 
nature has sunk down in the deep. 

To begin with large beasts, there are " sea-trees," 
blower-whales, other whales, saw-fish, Tritons, 
Nereids, walruses (?) so-called " men of the sea," 
" wheels," grampuses, " sea-rams," whalebone whales, 
and others having the shape of fishes, dolphins, and 
seals well known to Homer,° tortoises on the other 
hand well known to luxury, beavers to medical 
people (of the class of beavers we have never found 
record, speaking as we are of marine animals, that 
otters anywhere frequent the sea b ) ; also sharks, 
" drinones," horned rays (?), sword-nsh, saw-fish ; 
hippopotamuses and crocodiles common to land, sea, 
and river ; and, common to river and sea only, tun- 
nies, other tunnies, " siluri," " coracini," and perches. 

Belonging c to the sea only are sturgeon, gilt-head. 

553 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

acharne, aphye, alopex, anguilla, araneus, boca, batia, 
bacchus, batrachus, belonae, quos aculeatos vocamus- 
balanus, corvus, citharus, rhomborum generis pessi, 

146 mus. chalcis, cobio, callarias, asellorum generis, minor 
esset, colias * sive Parianus sive Sexitanus a patria 
Baetica, lacertorum minimi, f ab iis moncreses t 2 
cybium — ita vocatur concisa pelamys, quae post xl 
dies a Ponto in Maeotim revertitur — cordyla — et 
haec pelamys pusilla ; cum in Pontum a Maeotide 
exit, hoc nomen habet — cantharus, callionymus sive 
uranoscopos, cinaedi, soli piscium lutei, cnide, quam 

147 nos urticam vocamus, cancrorum genera, chemae 
striatae, chemae leves, chemae peloridum generis, 
varietate distantes et rotunditate, chemae glycymar- 
ides, quae sunt maiores quam pelorides, coluthia sive 
coryphia, concharum genera, inter quae et margariti- 
ferae, cochloe, 3 quorum generis pentadactyli, item 
helices (ab aliis 4 actinophoroe dicuntur), quibus 
radii; . . . cantant — extra haec sunt rotundae in 

148 oleario usu cocleae — cucumis, cynops, cammarus, 
cynosdexia, draco — quidam aliud volunt esse dracun- 
culum ; est autem gerriculae amplae similis, aculeos 

1 colias Hermolaus Barbarus; coliae Birt: collia B: colla 
multi codd. 

2 moncreses B: nostrates Mayhoff: varia rell. codd. 

3 conchoe coni. Mayhoff. 

4 helices ab aliis Ianus: h. ab his B: halicembalis vel sim. 
rell. 



a Not of the island Paros, but of the city Parium on the 
Propontis. 

6 Of the town Sex in Spain. 

c The Latin text is here corrupt. 

d This is puzzling. What are radii in the case of shell- 
bearing molluscs? " Thc spokes on whose shells are used for 

554 



BOOK XXXII. liii. 145-148 

" asellus," " acharne," small fry, thresher-shark, eel, 
weever-fish, bogue, skate, grey mullet, angler-fish, 
garfish ? — fish which we call thorny, sea-acorn, 
" sea-crow," " cithari " the worst esteemed of the 
turbot kind, shad (?), goby, " callarias " of the 

aselli " kind were it not smaller, Spanish mackerel 
also known as the Parian ° and as Sexitan b from its 
native land Baetica, the smallest of the mackerels, 
. . ., c " cybium " (this is the name given, when it has 
been sliced, to the young tunny which returns from 
the Black Sea into Lake Maeotis after forty days), 
" cordyla " (this too is a very small young tunny ; it 
has this name when it goes out from Lake Maeotis 
into the Black Sea), black bream, the " callionymus " 
or " uranoscopus," " cinaedi "-wrasse — the only 
fishes which are yellow, sea-anemone, which we call 
nettle, species of crab, furrowed clams, smooth clams, 
clams of the kind " peloris," diifering in variety of 
roundness of their shells, " glycymarides "-clams, 
which are larger than " pelorides," " coluthia " or 

coryphia," species of bivalves amongst which are 
also the pearl-bearers, " cochloe " (to the class of 
these belong the " five-fingered," also " helices " 
called by others " actinophorae "), whose rays give a 
singing sound d (outside these e there are round shells 
used in dealing with oil), sea-cucumber, " cynops," 
shrimps/ " dog's right-hand," weever-fish; (certain 
people want the " little weever " to be regarded as a 
different animal : in fact it is like a large " gerricula," 

musical purposes "— Bostock and Riley. Perhaps the gastro- 
pod mollusc " pelican's foot" is rneant. 

e haec, neuter plural, is another problem. Mayhoff may 
be right in suggesting a lacuna after radii. 

f Or prawns. 

555 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in branchiis habet. ad caudam spectantes ; sic ut 
scorpio laedit, dum manu tollitur — erythinus, echen- 
ais, eehinus, elephanti locustarum generis nigri, pedi- 
hus quaternis bisulcis — praeterea bracchia iis x n 
binis articulis singulisque forcipibus denticulatis — 
fabri sive zaei, 2 glauciscus, glanis, gonger, girres, 

149 galeos, garos, hippos, hippuros, hirundo, halipleumon, 
hippocampos, hepar, ictinus, iulis, lacertorum genera, 
Iolligo volitans, locustae, lucerna, lelepris, 3 lamirus, 4 
lepus, leones, quorum bracchia cancris similia sunt — 
reliqua pars locustae — mullus, merula inter saxatiles 
laudata, mugil, melanurus, mena, maeotes, murena, 
mys, mitulus, myiscus, murex, oculata, ophidion, 
ostreae, otia, orcynus — hic est pelamydum generis 
maximus neque ipse redit in Maeotim, similis tritomi, 

150 vetustate melior — orbis, orthagoriscus, phager, phycis 
saxatilium quaedam, pelamys — earum generis 
maxima apolectum vocatur, durius tritomo — porcus, 
phthir, passer, pastinaca, polyporum genera, pec- 
tines — maximi et in his nigerrimi aestate lauda- 
tissimi, hi autem Mytilenis, Tyndaride, Salonis, 
Altini, Chia in insula, Alexandriae in Aegypto — pec- 
tunculi, purpurae, pegrides, pina, pinoteres, rhine, 
quem squatum vocamus, rhombus, scarus, principalis 

151 hodie, solea, sargus, squilla, sarda — ita vocatur 

1 iis add. Mayhoff. 

2 zaei Mayhojf: caes codd. (zais B). 



3 lelepris Janvs coll. Hcsych.: varia codd. 

4 lamirus] larinus Sillig coll. Hesych. 



556 



BOOK XXXII. liii. 148-151 

and has on its gills prickles which look towards the 
tail ; and when it is lifted in the hand, it inflicts a 
woundlike a scorpion)," erythrinus, " sucking-fish, sea- 
urchin, black " elephants " of the lobster kind, having 
four forked legs (they also have two arms, each with 
double joints and a single pair of pincers having a 
toothed edge), " fabri " or " zaei," " glauciscus," 
cat-fish, conger eel, " girres," dogfish, " garos," 
runner-crab (?) " horsetail," flying-fish, jellyfish, sea- 
horse, " hepar," flying gurnard (?), rainbow-wrasse 
(?), species of mackerel, fluttering squid, crawfishes, 
" lantern-fish," " lelepris," " lamirus," sea-hare, 
" lion "-lobsters, whose arms are like crabs' and the 
rest is like the crawfish, red mullet, a wrasse highly 
praised amongst rock-fish, grey mullet, " black-tail," 
" mena," " maeotes," murry, " mys "-mussel, mussel, 
bearded mussel (?), purple-mollusc. " eyed " fish, 
eel (?), species of bivalves, sea-ear, large tunny (this 
is the largest of the pelamys kind and it never comes 
back to Lake Maeotis ; it is like the " tritomum " 
and is best in its old age), globe-fish, " orthagoriscus", 
" phager," " phycis " one of the rock-fish," pelamys "- 
tunny, of which kind the largest is called " choice 
piece," tougher than the " tritomus," " pig "-fish, 
sea-louse, plaice (?), sting-ray, species of octopus, 
scallops (the very large ones, and, among these, those 
which are very black in summer time, being the most 
highly esteemed; moreover, these are found at 
Mytilene, Tyndaris, Salonae, Altinum, the island of 
Chios. and Alexandria in Egypt), small scallops. 
purple-molluscs, " pegrides " (?), pinna, hermit crab 
(or pinna-guard crab), angel-fish which we call 
" squatus," turbot, parrot-wrasse, which is of first 
rank to-day, sole, sargue, prawn (or shrimp), " sarda " 

557 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pelamys longa ex oceano veniens — scomber, salpa, 
sorus, scorpaena, scorpio, salax, sciaena, sciadeus, 
scolopendra, smyrus, sepia, strombus, solen sive aulos 
sive donax sive onyx sive dactylus, spondyli, smarides, 
stellae, spongeae, turdus, inter saxatiles nobilis, 
thynnis, thranis, quem alii xiphian vocant, thrissa, 
torpedo, tethea, tritomum pelamydum generis magni, 

152 ex quo terna cybia fiunt, veneria, uva, xiphias. 

LIY. His adiciemus ab Ovidio posita animalia, 
quae apud neminem alium reperiuntur, sed fortassis in 
Ponto nascentia, ubi id volumen supremis suis tempori- 
bus inchoavit : bovem, cercyrum in scopulis viventem, 
orphum rubentemque erythinum, iulum, pictas mor- 
myras aureique coloris chrysophryn, praeterea per- 
cam, tragum et placentem cauda melanurum, epodas 

153 lati generis. praeter haec insignia piscium tradit: 
channen ex se ipsam concipere, glaucum aestate num- 
quam apparere, pompilum, qui semper comitetur 
navium cursus, chromin, 1 qui nidificet in aquis. helo- 
pem dicit esse nostris incognitum undis, ex quo 
apparet falli eos, qui eundem acipenserem existi- 
maverint. helopi palmam saporis inter pisces multi 
dedere. 

154 Sunt praeterea a nullo auctore nominati. sudis 
Latine appellatur, Graece sphyraena, rostro similis 

1 varia codd. Mayhoff sequimur. 



a Hal 94, 102, 104, 110-113, 126. 
6 Hal. 96, 101, 108, 117, 121. 



558 



BOOK XXXII. liii. 151-Liv. 154 

(this is the name given to an elongated pelamys- 
tunny which comes from the Ocean), mackerel, saupe, 

sorus," two kinds of sculpin, two kinds of maigre, 
scolopendra-worm, " smyrus," cuttle-fish, spiral 
molluscs, razor-shells variously called " solen," 
" aulos ", " donax," " onyx," and " dactylus " ; 
thorny oysters, picarels, starfishes, sponges, " tur- 
dus "-wrasse, famous amongst rock-fish, tunny, 
" thranis," which others call sword-fish, " thrissa," 
electric ray, sea-squirt, " tritomum " (" three-cut ") 
belonging to a large kind of tunny, from each of 
which three " cybia " can be cut, " veneria," cuttle- 
egg (?), sword-fish. LIV. We will add to these some 
animals, mentioned by Ovid, a which are found in no 
other writer, but which are perhaps native to the 
Black Sea, where he began that unfinished book in 
the last davs of his life : horned ray, " cercyrus 
which lives amongst rocks, " orphus," and red " ery- 
thinus," " iulus," tinted sea-breams and gilt-head of 
golden colour; and, besides these, perch, " tragus," 
" black-tail " with pretty tail, " epodes " of the flat 
kind. Besides these remarkable kinds of fishes he 
records : that the sea-perch conceives of herself, that 
the " glaucus " never appears in summer ; and he 
mentions the pilot-fish as always accompanying ships 
on their course, and the " chromis " which makes its 
nest in the waves. He says that the " helops " is 
" unknown to our waters " ; b from which it is clear 
that those who have believed that acipenser (sturgeon) 
is the same are in error. Many people have given 
the first prize for taste to the helops among all fish. 

Moreover, there are some fish named by no author. 
There is one barracuda called " sudis " in Latin, 
" sphyraena " in Greek, in its muzzle resembling its 

559 



PLIXY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nomini, magnitudine inter amplissimos ; rarus is et 
non degenerat. appellantur et pernae concharum 
generis, circa Pontias insulas frequentissimae. stant 
velut suillum crus e longo in harena defixae hiantes- 
que, qua x latitudo est, pedali non minus spatio cibum 
venantur ; dentes circuitu marginum habent pecti- 
natim spissatos ; intus spondyli grandis caro est. et 
hyaenam piscem vidi in Aenaria insula captum. — 
Exeunt praeter haec et purgamenta aliqua relatu 
indigna et algis potius adnumeranda quam animalibus. 

quae coni. Wurmington. 



560 



BOOK XXXII. liv. 154 

name (" stake "); it is in size amongst the largest ; 
it is uncommon, and does not degenerate by inter- 
breeding. There are also shells (pinnas) of a kind for 
which the name " perna " is given ; they are abund- 
ant round the Pontiae islands. They stand like pigs' 
hams fixed bolt upright in the sand ; and, gaping not 
less than a foot wide where there is broad enough 
space,° they lie in wait for food. They have, all 
round the edges of the shells, teeth set thick like 
those of a comb ; inside is a large fleshy muscle. 
I once saw also a " hyaena "-fish (puntazzo) which was 
taken in the island Aenaria. 

Besides all these creatures, certain off-scourings 
also come out of the sea; they are not worth a 
description and are to be counted amongst sea-weeds 
and not amongst living creatures. 

a Or, if we read quae, " according to their expansiveness." 



561 



ADDITIOXAL XOTES 

Additional Xote A. 

Mensa. 

When used in reference to food mensa may have various 
meanings : — 

(1) Dining-table. 

(2) Small table, which when of many shelves was called 

repositorium. See Petionius Satyr. 34 : suam 
cuique mensam assignari. 

(3) Course. 

(4) Square slice of bread (quadra), used as a plate. See 

Aeneid VII 115: patuHs nec parcere quadris; 
" Heus, etiam mensas consumimus," inquit Iulus. 

(5) A round plate, lanx or discus. See Pliny XXXIII 

§ 140 : iam vero et mensas repositoriis imponimus 
ad sustinenda opsonia. 

In Phny XXVIII we have : 

§ 24 nam si mensa adsit. Meaning (1). 

§ 26 aquis sub mensam profusis. Meaning (1). 

§ 26 mensam vel repositorium tolli. Either (2) or (5). 

§ 26 mensa hnquenda non sit, nondum enim plures quam 

convivae numerabantur. The first seems to be (1) but 

plures to be (2). See, however, Wolters ad loc. 
§ 27 utique per mensas. This is (2) on the usual inter- 

pretation, but (3) on that of Wolters. 
§ 27 in mensa utique id reponi. This might be either (1) 

or (2). 

Additional Note B. 

The Hyaena. 

The Romans were rather puzzled, and perhaps a little 
frightened, by the hyaena and its strange habits. Pliny has 

563 



ADDITIONAL NOTES 

a short chapter (VIII §§ 105, 106) in which he refers to many 
popular beliefs about the animal : that it is bi-sexual, becoming 
male and female in alternate years ; that it can imitate human 
speech, a belief arising perhaps from its laughing cry ; that it 
imitates a person being sick, so as to attract dogs ; that it digs 
up graves in search of corpses ; and that it is an animal possess- 
ing magic powers. 

Pliny seems to have obtained most if not all his information 
from books on magic, for perhaps none of the seventy-nine 
" remedies " in chapter XXVII of the twenty-eighth book can 
be considered rational. Neither Serenus nor Sextus Placitus 
mentions the animal, but Scribonius Largus makes use of 
hyaena's gall in an eye-salve (XXXVIII), and has much to say 
about a recipe for hydrophobia which he obtained pro magno 
munere from a medicus called Zopyrus (CLXXI and CLXXII). 
It turned out to be a piece of hyaena skin wrapped up in cloth. 
Scribonius took great pains to prepare the amulet and keep it 
ready, but confesses that he had not yet had a chance to put 
it to the test. Many of the Iwaena remedies were probably 
fraudulent iniitations, although hyaenas must have formed 
part of the wild-beast shows of which the Romans were so 
fond. 



Additional Note C. 
Sympathy and Antipathy. 

" The Greeks have applied the terms ' sympathy ' and 
' antipathy ' to the principle of Nature that water puts out 
fire . . . the magnetic stone draws iron to itself while another 
kind repels it . . . the diamond, unbreakable by any other 
force, is broken by goafs blood." So says Pliny (XX §§ 1, 2). 
At the beginning of Book XXIV he gives a longer list, from 
which examples are : oak and olive ; oak and walnut ; cabbage 
and vine ; cabbage and cyclamen or marjoram ; all being 
f-ontraries. The affinities include : pitch and oil, both being 
fatty; gum and vinegar, which washes gum out; ink and 
water, whieh combine readily. 

In the working out of this theory there must inevitably be, 
to modern minds, some inconsistency and much sheer fancy. 
The theory itself is fanciful, and more akin to the " Love and 
Hate " of Empedocles than to the convenientia of the Stoics, 

564 



ADDITTONAL NOTES 

although parallels or analogies might be foun 1 in the scientific 
concepts of today. There was a tendency in Greek specula- 
tion to take an attractive idea, work it to death, and ignore or 
brush aside objections to it. Pliny says (XXIV § 4) of sym- 
pathy and antipathy : " Hence medicine was born." But it 
is not always clear whether a remedy is a cure because of anti- 
pathy to the disease or because of sympathy with it. The 
neutralization of disease suggests the former; the " doctrine 
of signatures " the latter. When, however, Pliny says 
(XXVIII § 147) that the power of sympathy under the in- 
fiuence of religio is great enough to render harmless the drink- 
ing of bull's blood by the priestess of Earth at Aegira, the 
reasoning is hard to follow. Various explanations could be 
given, but most modern minds would have been more satisfied 
if Pliny had said that the power of religio is so great that it can 
turn antipathy into sympathy. 

Dr. W. T/Fernie, Animal Simples, pp. 63-65, says that 
bull's blood was once a favourite beverage ! He also refers to 
Grote's suggestion that imperfect prussic acid, which may be 
obtained from blood, may have been called " ox-blood." 
There was a story that Themistocles committed suicide by 
drinking bulTs blood, and the belief in its poisonous nature 
long persisted. 

There is an article on " sympathy," Der Heilmagnetismus 
bei Plinius, by Th. Steinwender, in Zeitschrift fur die Oester- 
reichischen Gymnasien, LXIX 1-20. 



Additional Xote D. 

Pliny says (XXVIII. 108) that there are two kinds of 
crocodile, the second being smaller, living on land only, and 
eating scented plants so that in its bowels is formed a much- 
prized substance called crocodilea. 

Actually Egypt has today but one crocodile, the Crocodilus 
niloticus, which has, however, two musk glands, one under 
the throat and the other in its cloaca. 

We can only guess why Pliny says that the scent was taken 
from small crocodiles living on land. Pliny seems to have 
misunderstood his authorities; perhaps the perfumers kept 
babv crododiles in semi-domestication. 



565 



ADDITIONAL NOTES 

Additional Note E. 

P. Fournier, writing in the Revue de Philologie for 1952 
and 1953, has a few Notulae Plinianae which did not come 
to my attention in time to be mentioned in vol. VII. He 
thinks that populus should often be replaced by opulus, and 
ornus by cornus. For purely botanical reasons, he suggests 
the following emendations: 

In XXV. § 125, in ulvis for in silvis. 

In XXVI. § 56, paleali for pallioli. 

In XXVI. § 95, tensior for tenuior. 

In XXVII. § 104, seridis for iridis. 

Additional Note F. 
Pliny Book XXX. 

In XXX. § 24, taking the best attested readings, we have : 
«s quoque vermiculus . . . mire prodest. nam urucae brassicae 
eius contactu cadunt et e malva cimices infunduntur auribus. 
This gives : " The grub also . . . is wonderfully good (sc. for the 
teeth). For (or But) cabbage caterpillars fall at its touch, 
and bugs from the mallow are poured into ears." This is 
rather a non sequitur. Mayhoff emends: urucae e brassicae 
foliis. That is : " But at the touch of the caterpillar from 
the leaves of cabbages teeth fall out, and bugs, etc." 

Professor Warmington would read : " mire prodest, nam eius 
contactu cadunt ; urucae brassicae et e malva cimices, etc." — 
a simple transposition : " is wonderfully good, for at its touch 
teeth fall out; cabbage caterpillars and bugs from mallow, 
etc." 

Additional Note G. 
Pliny Book XXX. 

In XXX. 64 the best MSS. have : in dolore si quis aquam per 
pedes fluentes (or fluentis) liaurire sustineat. Mayhoff has : in 
dolore si quis aquam ter pedes eluens haurire sustineat. The 
order of the words suggests that ter goes with eluens, but the 
sense that it goes with haurire. 

Professor Warmington would keep per and change fluentes 
to fluentem. " If anyone when in pain can bring himself to 
swallow the water that swirjs about his feet." 

5 66 



ADDITIONAL XOTES 

Additional Note H. 
Pliny Book XXXI, § 38. 

The MSS. read: certior subtilitas, inter pares mehorem 
esse quae calefiat refrigereturque celerius, quin et haustam 
vasis ne manus pendeant depositisque in humum tepescere 
adfirmant. 

The second sentence is very difficult, and one is reminded of 
Mayhoffs warning in the Appendix to Vol. IV. (p. 497): 
verum in tabbus rebus, quae omni ratione careant, rectius est 
desperare quam nullo testimoniorum adiumento e sobs bt- 
terarum vestigiis inanem coniecturam facere. Although it 
cannot be said that omnis ratio is wanting, yet the ratio is very 
obscure, and is perhaps irrecoverable. 

The subject of the passage is the wholesomeness or " bght- 
ness " of water. It has just been said that the lightness can- 
not be determmed by a pair of scales or steelyard. A more 
delicate test is the increase in heat when the water is placed in 
pots on the ground. The problem is: was Pliny's intention 
to say, " don't weigh " or " don't warm by touching "? 
Either alternative would require considerable emendation. 
Mayboff adopts from a Dalechamp variant manu for manus, 
and adds portatis after vasis in order to balance impositisque, 
" in pots carried without weighing by hand and placed etc." ; 
Detlefsen, aiming at much the same sense, reads manus 
suspendant, and leaves the -que difficult to explain. The 
other interpretation would require a radical change of pendeant 
to tangant or tepeant, and perhaps other changes as weU. The 
difficulty of que might be overcome by reading impositam, and 
if the avoidance of warming by touch is the point of the 
we-clause, ansatis, " with handles," a Plinian word, would be 
better than Mayhoffs portatis. 

On the whole it is best to confess that the sentence is a 
puzzle hitherto unsolved, and that two meanings are possible, 
with a preference for the one that implies weighing. 

Additional Note I. 
Pliny XXXI. Ch. 46. 

Nitrum, from the Arabic natron, was probably a mixture of 
sodium carbonate, calcium carbonate, and various chlorides. 
It was often obtained from pools X.W. of Cairo, 

567 



ADDITIONAL NOTES 

From the acconnt of Pliny we can conclude with certainty 
that nitrum was to a great extent soda, but not entirely so. 
We are told, for instance, that it could be used instead of salt 
in making bread, that it turned green vegetables greener, that 
with dill, cummin, or rue it relieved gripes, that it dissolved 
in the mouth, and that sometimes, but not always, it crackled 
in fire. 

Soda scum (spuma nitri, aphronitrum) was said to ooze 
from the sides of certain caves in Asia and also to come from 
Egypt. It was probably carbonates and nitrates of soda and 
potash, coloured bv copper and iron oxides. See the Loeb 
Pliny, vol. II, p. LII. 

Additional Xote J. 

Pliny discusses sponges in IX. Ch. 69, 
and XXXI. Ch. 47. 

In the former he says that sponges have four or five fistulae, 
going all the way through, and that there are others, closed at 
the upper end. A niodern article on sponges will probably 
refer to the various holes of a sponge as canals, apertures, 
pores, cavities, funnels, oscules, according to their shape or 
purpose. Pliny calls the holes by one name only, fistulae. 
Now Pliny knew, or took from his authorities, that sponges 
were animal, but it is sometimes impossible to make out 
whether he is speaking of the living sponge or of the domestic 
article. Most of XXXI. Ch. 47, deals with the latter, but the 
classification is apparently concerned with the former. 

Pliny's second class, the female, is said to have fistulae 
perpetuae, but the third class to have fistulae that are very 
small and very numerous. The words of Pliny imply that 
his first and third classes have fistulae that are not perpetuae. 

As a matter of fact, the oscules of all living sponges never 
close. Therefore, if perpetuus can mean " never-closing," 
and if Pliny has in mind sponges in their native state, he is 
attributing to a particular class a characteristic that really 
belongs to them all. The adjective perpetuus, however, is a 
strange one to use in this sense, as it means properly " long 
and unbroken." 

It is probable that Pliny has written carelessly and vaguely, 
and in partial ignorance. 

5 68 



POPULAR MEDICIXE IX AXCIEXT 
ITALY 

The origin of medicine is obscure. Some anthro- 
pologists, arguing from the customs of primitive 
peoples, tell us that it arose from magic. By that 
term are meant powers. which we should call super- 
natural, but to primitive man were quite normal, 
supposed to reside in certain objects, and capable of 
being put into action by those who know the proper 
procedure. Magic of this kind has played a large 
part in the evolution of medicine, but before the age 
of magic there may have been a period, perhaps a 
long one, when man, like a sick dog, treated himself 
instinctively if ill or in pain. Yery soon in the age 
of magic appeared " medicine men," who did much 
to build up a svstem of ritual, incantations, amulets, 
and taboos, which reinforced or even replaced the 
vegetable or animal remedies. Out of this stage, 
there slowlv evolved, as man's reasoning power 
grew, the stage of rational medicine, in which the 
medicine man was superseded by the professional 
physician or surgeon, although many of his dutie^ 
were carried out by the head of the family. In this 
way arose the distinction, which even today has not 
disappeared, between professional, and folk or 
popular, medicine. 

The best professionals of Greece, mostly by their 
bwn efforts but partly through the influence of other 
countries, especially Egypt, had by 400 b.c. entirely 

5 6 9 



POPULAR MEDICINE IN ANCIENT ITALY 

discarded superstitious methods of healing. Two 
treatises ° in the Hippocratic Corpus declare that 
all diseases are due to natural causes, and can be 
cured only by natural means. But traces of super- 
stitution are to be seen in the works of Celsus and 
Galen, and in popular medicine it flourished. The 
truth is that, however much the best physicians 
despised them, superstitious methods had their uses. 
A patient who is cheerful, and buoyed up by strong, 
even if false hopes, is more likely to do well than is 
a patient worried and depressed. If a man has com- 
plete faith in the efficacy of a completely inert 
compound, his chances of recovery are improved 
merely by the psychological effect of his belief. 
Herein lies at least one reason for the long vogue of 
medicines that we now know are physiologically use- 
less. Magical ritual and incantations were often 
amusing, and always gave the impression that some- 
thing of great importance was about to happen. 
The power of suggestion and auto-suggestion had 
full scope to act, especially among people who were 
far more credulous and superstitious than the present 
age of positive science. 

Roman medicine for many generations was entirely 
popular, for the Romans never developed a scientific 
medicine of their own. Until 219 b.c. when the 
Greek physician Archagathus migrated to Rome 
from the Peloponnesus, they doctored themselves. b 
Cato's hatred of professional physicians, apparent in 

a Airs, Waters, Places and Sacred Disease. 

6 Doetors froni Magna Graecia certainly influenced, 
directly or indirectly, medical practice in the rest of Italy, 
but we know little about the details. At Croton was one of 
the first Greek medical schools. 

57° 



POPULAR MEDICINE IN ANCIENT ITALY 

the letter to his son, may have been unusually strong, 
but Pliny's dislike was almost as great, and marked 
disapproval is shown by Pliny Junior, Serenus, and 
pseudo-Apuleius. There were many low-class 
physicians in the Graeco-Roman world, for no tests 
were required before beginning a practice. These 
deserved all the blame bestowed upon them by their 
disappointed dupes; Pliny, however, picks out for his 
most venomous attack Asclepiades, who was really a 
good physician and highly praised by Celsus. 

During and after the Roman conquest of Greece, 
there came to Italy great numbers of these poorly 
qualified men, who, desirous of making a living, 
pandered to the tastes and fancies of the self-doctor- 
ing Romans, supplying them with remedies of 
different sorts, but most of them useless except as 
faith cures. In this way there came to be known to 
the Romans a vast number of foreign drugs, most of 
which were perhaps never tried in Italy at all, but 
many of them appear to have become popular. How 
these new remedies were put on the market or 

advertised " (as we might say) can be seen by 
reading the Compositiones of Scribonius Largus, a 
lower-grade doctor of perhaps a better type than the 
majority. He confesses to buying quack remedies 
from an African midiercula and a Roman honesta 
matrona, and one for pleurisy from a man who, to 
keep his prescription a secret, pretended to include 
ingredients which actually he never used. a He also 
bought from his friend Zopyrus of Gortyn pro magno 
munere an amulet to protect from hydrophobia — a 
piece of hyena skin wrapped in cloth. b 



a See pp. 53, 10, 11, 41 of Helmreich's edition. 
b See p. 70 (Helmreich). 



57i 



POPULAR MEDICINK IN ANCIKNT ITALY 

But the man who introduced to the Romans most 
of the new or foreign remedies was Pliny himself, 
who in Books XX-XXXII gives perhaps several 
thousands. He did little, if any, independent 
research, but collected recipes, botanical and 
animal, from every available source, including some 
he professed to dislike. According to his own state- 
ment Pliny preferred herbal simples, but he pre- 
scribes without disapproval mixtures, animal reme- 
dies, remedies from professional doctors and even 
those of the Magi, whom he cordially hated. The 
grosser forms of superstition — draughts of blood and 
relics from the cross or gallows — aroused his scorn, 
but he places them on record, while amulets, ritual, 
and incantations, are described or mentioned, though 
often prefixed by " they say that," or " it is thought 
that." Pliny sometimes reports gossip, and forgets 
his professed aim to be utilitarian. In this jumble 
of so-called cures very little guidance is given to the 
harassed attendant in search of a remedy for a 
difficult case. 

The Natural History is not a good practical text- 
book. So thought many who later wrote popular 
works on the same subject, several of which are ex- 
tant. These picked out recipes that appealed to them 
from Pliny's book,adding some from other sources. By 
the time of Plinius Junior, who wrote what is probably 
the earliest of the extant epitomes, a great deal of the 
matter in the Natural History had become what may 
be called communal knowledge, so that direct 
borrowing from Pliny, although possible, should not 
necessarily be assumed. The " Pliny " just men- 
tioned is the pen-name of one who wrote a medicina 
Plinii about a.d. 350. He was followed by Serenus 

572 



POPULAR MEDICINE IN ANCIENT ITALY 

Sammonicus, the author of a didactic poem in 1107 
hexameters, covering the whole ground in 64 
sections, pseudo-Apuleius w&th his Herbarius, Sextus 
Placitus, who gives recipes only from animals and 
birds, and Marcellus Empiricus of Bordeaux. The 
dates of these four are uncertain, but are grouped 
around a.d. 400. 

Animal remedies, as given by Pliny, are very often, 
perhaps usually, based on a simple magic, such as 
V like cures like." There is some magic in the plant 
remedies, but much more in those from animals. 
The reason may be that animals, more akin to man 
than plants, have a closer " sympathy " and a 
sharper " antipathy," two rather mysterious qualities 
which Pliny, influenced by some Greek thinker, 
believed to be the active principles in all cures. The 
magic of the medical Books is of a mild and inoffensive 
kind — ritual, incantations, amulets, neglect of 
rational doses for those with the magical numbers 
three, seven, nine, and so on. 

A typical but imaginative Plinian cure might be to 
draw a ring round a plant with iron, gather it at night 
without letting it fall to the ground, say for what 
purpose and for whom it is gathered, and to 
administer three leaves or three cyathi of a decoction. 
In a dose of this kind there is " power " (yis), not only 
in the plant, but in the ritual, the words, and the 
number three. 

Popular medicine in Italy can be better under- 
stood if contrasted with professional medicine, which 
among the Greeks had reached a very high standard 
by 400 b.c. At Alexandria a hundred years later a 
further advance was made, and Celsus wrote a text- 
book inspired by Alexandrian influence. By com- 

573 



POPULAR MEDICINK IN ANCIENT ITALY 

paring the treatment of epilepsy or malaria in Celsus 
and PHny we can throw some light on the question, 
especially if we remember that epilepsy frightened 
the ancients, and that malaria was obstinate or in- 
curable. The professionals discarded all superstitious 
or magical remedies, and relied on regimen, rest, and 
warmth, using drugs (except purges and emetics) very 
sparingly. Popular medicine had recourse to any 
and every supposed remedy, however absurd and dis- 
gusting to our minds, and to amulets, incantations, 
and various other kinds of magic. What we call 
" shock " remedies were sometimes employed; one 
of the most striking, used in the treatment of another 
disease, was to duck the victims of hydrophobia 
unawares into cold water. 

Some popular medicines used were really of thera- 
peutic value, but most of them were chosen because 
of a fanciful resemblance or relationship to the 
disease, e.g. black hellebore for diseases caused by 
black bile. Very common were amulets, usually 
prophylactic, although curative became common in 
Italy in the first century a.d. A common type of 
amulet is to take the eye of a crab, the crab being 
allowed to go free, and to wear it as an amulet for 
diseases of the eye. The theory behind all this is that 
the crab's eye retains power to heal eyes so long as 
the crab lives ; the eye amulet absorbs the eye trouble 
and transfers it to the mutilated animal, which 
usually dies, carrying with it the complaint. 

Pliny did not like compound prescriptions, but 
Roman popular medicine had several, for in order to 
make sure of the proper ingredient a great number 
of them were often combined in a " blunderbuss," as 
in the famous antidote of Mithridates, which finally 

574 



POPULAR MEDICINE IN ANCIENT ITALY 

had over seventy components. Conversely, when a 
remedy was found suitable for one complaint it was 
often assumed by false analogy that it would be good 
for many others. The outstanding example is 
betony, used for forty-seven ailments. 

The main conclusion to be drawn is that popular 
cures, except in a few obvious cases, were faith cures. 
Faith is a powerful healer today ; in ancient times, 
owing to the greater credulity of the age, it was 
probably a far more effective healer. 



575 



LIST OF DISEASES AND AFFEC 
TIONS MENTIONED BY PLINY 



To equate modern diseases with the naraes used by ancient 
physicians is a task full of uncertainty. In some cases indeed 
there is no difficulty; a disease may have such distinctive 
symptoms, and be so unlike any other, that its description 
in Celsus or Galen points clearly to one, and only one, diag- 
nosis, examples being intermittent malarial fevers and the 
oommon cold. Pneumonia again in both Greek and Latin 
writings is usually easy to detect (although there is some 
chance of confusion with acute bronchitis), and so are also 
dropsy and pleurisy. Often, however, we can do no more 
than divide into groups : (1) diseases and (2) the ancient 
names of diseases, and then identify a group from one with 
a group from the other. Many quite different diseases are 
c o ahke symptomatically that identification can be estab- 
Aied, even today, only by a microscopic examination con- 
ducted with a technique quite unknown to the ancients. 
Great care is needed with eye diseases and skin diseases, both 
of which were far more common in earlier days than they are 
with us, for dust was everywhere and disinfecting cleansing 
was practically unknown. The principle of grouping is nearly 
always the safest one to adopt ; to attempt more is hazardous. 
For example, we have on the one hand collectio, furunculus, 
panus, vomica and tumor ; on the other we have " boil," 
" abscess," " gathering " and " carbuncle." The group of 
complaints covered by the Latin terms is nearly, if not quite, 
the same as that covered by the English, but any attempt to 
make more specific identification is attended with much 
uncertainty; perhaps panus is the only one we can isolate 
more completely. 

577 

VOL. VIII. U 



LIST OF DISEASES 

More important for our appreciation of antiquity than the 
identification of specific diseases is to ascertain which, if 
any, modern diseases were unknown in the Hellenistic age. 
Here the evidence, especially that relating to infectious fevers, 
is most disappointing. These fevers are endemic in the 
modern world, and figure largely in treatises on pathology. 
But the old medical writers — " Hippocrates," Celsus, Galen 
and the many compilers who succeeded Galen — do not 
describe, or give treatment for, small-pox, chicken-pox, 
measles, scarlatina, typhoid or even influenza. The most that 
can be said is that in isolated clinical histories or in chance 
aphoristic remarks one or other of them may be referred to ; 
the evidence is strongest for diphtheria. Moreover, in the 
pseudo-Aristotelian Problems (VII 8) it is said that con- 
sumption, ophthalmia and the itch are infectious, but that 
fevers are not. It is difficult to believe that a people who 
knew that cons\imption is infectious would have called scarla- 
tina non-infectious if it had been endemic among them. 

The Romans borrowed many names of diseases from the 
Greeks. Usually, of course, the Latin word refers to the 
same disease as does the Greek, especially in the works of 
medical writers. But care must be exercised; AeVpa, for 
instance, seems to be much narrower than lepra. 

Celsus is by far the most trustworthy authority to follow 
in identifying the diseases mentioned by Pliny, for both 
were Romans, both (probably) laymen and nearly con- 
temporaries. 

Aegilops. — A lacrimal fistula at count of it, sayiug that it 

the angle noar the nose. occurred in the hair and 

Albugo. — An unknowri kind of beard. He distinguishes it 

white ulcer on the eye. In from ofiiaois, probably ring- 

XXVI § 160 used of a head worm, for this had a winding 

ulcer. The word occurs only in shape, whereas alopecia " sub 

the Vulgate Bible and in Pliny. qualibet figura dilatatur." 

Alopecia. — A disease in which Amphemerinos. — Quotidian ma- 

the hair fell out. Meaning laria. 

literally " fox mange," it is Angina. — An acute swelling in 

translated " mange " in the the neck, generally quinsy. A 

text. It is perhaps unsafe to loose term like our " sore 

limitittothemodernalopecia. throat." Sometimes possibly 

Celsus (VI 4) lias a britif ac- diphthoria. 

578 



LIST OF DISEASES 



Apostema. — Greek for abscess. 

Argema. — A small white ulcer, 
partly on the cornea, partly on 
the sclerotic coat of the eye. 

Artiodarius morbus. — This in 
XXII 34 is joined to poda- 
gricus, and so means probably 
not gout but arthritis. 

Asthma . — A pparentlv only 
XXVI 34. See also XXV 82. 

Atrophus. — " Wasting away," 
of allsuch conditions, of which 
phthisis is one. 

Boa. — " A disease when the 
body is red with pimples," 
XXIV 53. See also XXVI 
120. An exanthem not cer- 
tainly identified. Shingles is 
localised. It cannot be, as 
Hardouin thought, measles, 
because that disease seems to 
have been first described by 
Rhazes. 

Cachecta. — A patient who is in a 
very bad state of health ; some- 
times a " consumptive " patient 
is meant. 

Cacoethes. — A Greek adjective 
applied to sores that are very 
difficult or impossible to cure ; 
" malignant " is the nearest,but 
not quite exact, equivalent. 

Calculus. — Stone or gravel in 
the bladder. 

Caligo. — Dimness of the eyes, 
hard to distinguish from 
nubecula (film) and caligatio 
(mistiness). 

Carbunculus. — In XXVI 5, 6 
seems certainly to be anthrax, 
and Pliny's description re- 
sembles that of Celsus V 28, 1. 
The word was, however, used 
of minor affections ; for 
example, carbunculus oculi is 
a stye, and it is often used of 
a bad abscess. 



Carcinoma. — Superficial malig- 
nant disease, severe forms of 
which are called cacoethe. 
It seems impossible to dis- 
tinguish, at least in Pliny, 
carcinoma from ulcera cacoethe, 
phagedaena and gangraena. 

Cardiacus. — The adjective refers 
to either disease or patient. 
Sometimes a simple ailment, 
heartburn, is referred to, 
at other times a serious 
complaint, said by W. G. 
Spencer on Celsus III 19 to 
be a kind of syncope. In fact 
the reference may be to any 
ailment supposed to be con- 
nected with the heart. 

Cephalaea. — Aretaeus (III 2) 
calls this a severe, chronic 
headache, and says that there 
are iSeai ut/ptai- Persistent 
neuralgia, except when it 
•means malarial headache, must 
be the complaint referred to. 

Cerium. — Described by W. G. 
Spencer on Celsus V 28, 13 
as a follicular abscess among 
hair. Its appearance — Kt)piov 
means " honeycomb " — en- 
ables us to distinguish it from 
panus ; it was also often more 
severe. 

Chiragra. — Gout or gouty pains 
in the hands. But see 
podagra. 

Cholera. — Perhaps never Asiatic 
cholera, but cholera nostras 
and possibly certain types of 
dysentery and severe diar- 
rhoea. The word is derived 
from X°^V' "bile." 

Clavus. — Wart, corn or callus. 

Coeliacus morbus. — W. G. 
Spencer on Celsus IV 19, 1 
(last note) says that the 
author appears to be de- 

579 



LIST OF DISEASES 



scribing pyloric spasm and 

intestina) atony. Cf. Aretaeus 

IV 7. 
Collectio. — The most general 

tenn for a boil or abscess, 

a " gathering." 
Colostratio. — Disease of babies 

caused by the first milk. 
Colum. — Colitis, or inflammation 

of the colon. 
Comitialis morbns. — Epilepsy 

and sometimes other fits. 
Condyloma. — A small tumour 

in the anus due to inflam- 

mation. See Celsus VI 18, 8. 
Convulsa. — Sprains. 
Cotidiana. — Quotidian ague, 

malaria with fever occurring 

every day. 
Destillatio. — A "running" cold 

in the head. Sometimes in- 

ternal catarrh. 
Duritia. — An induration, from 

whatever cause, in any part 

of the body. 
Dysinteria. — Usually dysentery, 

but probably also severe 

diarrhoea, however caused. 
Dyspnoea. — Difficulty of breath- 

ing, however caused. 
Elephantiasis . — The usual name 

of leprosy. See XXVI 7 and 

8, where it is said to have 

quickly died out in Italy. 
Enterocele. — Hernia . 
Epinyctis. — Either ( 1 ) a sore on 

the eye-lid or (2) an eruption 

caused by fleas or bugs. 
Epiphora. — Running from the 

eyes as the result of some 

ailment. 
Eruptio. — A bursting out of 

morbid matter, either through 

the skin or sometimes in other 

ways. 
Extuberatio. — A fleshy ex- 

crescence, perhaps not morbid. 



The word apparently occurs 

only in XXXI 104. 
Febris. — Feverishness, or else 

one of the recognised types 

of malaria. 
Fistula. — Practically synonym- 

ous with the modern term. 
Flemina. — A severe congestion 

of blood around the ankles. 

It is neuter plural. 
Fluctio and fluxus. — Thereseems 

to be little if any difference in 

the meaning of these words 

— any flow, but usually a mor- 

bid one. Pliny prefers fluctio. 
Formicatio. — An irritating wart. 

See Celsus V 28, 14. 
Furfur. — Scurf (anywhere). 
Furunculus. — A boil, said by 

Celsus (V 28, 8) not to be 

dangerous, whereas Pliny 

(XXVI 125) says that it is 

sometimes mortiferum malum. 
Oangraena. — Gangrene, hard to 

distinguish from phagedaena 

and ulcera serpentia. 
Oemursa. — A disease the seat of 

which was between the toes. 

It is said by Pliny (XXVI 8) 

to have died out quickly in 

Italy. See Littre's note. 
Olaucoma. — Opaqueness of the 

crystalline lens. 
Oravedo. — The usual term for 

the common cold. 
Oremia. — R heum. 
Hepaticus. — A sufferer from any 

liver complaint. 
Herpes. — A spreading eruption 

on the skin. 
Hydrocelicus. — A sufferer from 

hydrocele. 
Hydropisis. — Dropsy. 
Hypoch ysis . — Cataract. 
Ictericus. — A sufferer from 

jaundice. 
Ignis sacer. — Erysipelas. Per- 



5 8o 



LIST OF DISEASES 



haps also some form of eczema 
or lupus. Also == shingles. 

Ileus. — Severe colic. Possibly 
appendicitis was included 
under this term. 

Impetigo. — The Romans used 
this term of various kinds of 
eczema. Celsus (V 28, 17) 
mentions four, the last being 
incurable. 

Impetus. — Inflammation or an 
inflamed swelling; Pliny has 
impetus oculorum. With the 
genitive of a word meaning 
a specific disease it denotes 
an attack of it. 

Intertrigo. — Chafing, especially 
between the legs. 

Ischias. — Sciatica. 

Laterum dolor. — " Severe pain 
in the side," nearly always 
pleurisy. 

Lentigo. — Freckles. 

Leprae. — Seems to be used of 
any scaly disease of the skin ; 
Pliny gives cures. There was 
a kind regarded as incurable, 
but this is not mentioned by 
Pliny, who has forty-six 
references, all to cures. 

Lethargus (lethargia). — In Hip- 
pocrates probably the coma- 
tose form of pernieious ma- 
laria, but later perhaps also 
prolonged coma of any kind. 

Lichen. — This is said by Pliny 
(XXVI 2-4) to be a new 
disease to Italy, usually 
beginning on the chin. Hence 
the name mentagra (chin 
disease). Littre diagnoses it as 
leprosy, but Pliny says (XXVI 
§ 1) sine dolore quidem illos, ac 
sine pernicie vitae. This state- 
ment, as Pliny puts it, applies 
also to carbunculus and 
elephantiasis, but Pliny's own 



account of these diseases is 
quite inconsistent with sine 
pernicie. So Pliny's remark 
is carelessly inaccurate, or 
applies only to lichenes. 

Lippitudo. — Inflammation of the 
eye, generally ophthalmia. 

Luxata. — Dislocations. 

Malandria. — Pustules on the 
neck. 

Melancholicus. — One suffering 
from melancholia, which in- 
cluded malarial cachexia and 
many melancholic conditions, 
even mere nervousness. In 
fact it included any disease 
supposed to be caused by 
" black bile " (fieXaiva x°^V)- 

Mentagra.—ln XXVI 2 called 
a lichen beginning on the 
chin. See lichen. 

Nome (pl. nomae). — A spreading 
ulcer, much the same as 
ulcus serpens. 

Nubecula. — A cloudy film on 
the eye, sometimes cataract. 

Nyctalops. — One afflicted with 
night blindness. 

Opisthotonus. — The form of 
tetanus in which the body 
curves backwards. 

Orthopnoea. — Serious asthma, 
when the patient cannot 
breathe unless upright. 

Panus. — Spencer in a note on 
Celsus V 18, 19 calls this a 
" superficial abscess in a 
hair follicle." It occurred 
chiefly on the scalp, on the 
groin and under the arm. 

Paronychia (-um). — Whitlow. 

Parotis. — A swelling of the 
glands by the ears. Some 
authorities think that it 
may have included mumps, 
which is described in Hippo- 
crates, Epidemics 1. 

S8i 



LIST OF DISEASES 



Perfnctio. — Sometirnes a severe 
chill. 

Peripleumonicus. — A sufferer 
from pneumonia. 

Ptrnio. — Chilblain. 

Pestilentia. — Plague ; a term as 
vague as the English, but 
usually bubonic. 

Phagedaena. — Gangrene, hard to 
distinguish from gangraena. 
In XXVI 100 an abnormal 
diseased appetite. 

Phlegmon. — Infiammation be- 
neath the skin. 

Phreniticus. — Properly a sufferer 
from phrenitis or phrenesis, 
pernicious malaria accom- 
panied by raving. It also 
refers to the symptom when 
not caused by malaria, for 
in post-Hippocratic medical 
works it often seems equi- 
valent to "brain fever." Per- 
haps sometimes meningitis. 

Phthiriasis. — Phthiriasis, skin 
disease caused by lice. 

Phthisis. — Pulmonary consump- 
tion. 

Pituita. — Excessive mucus, in 
any part of the body. 

Pleuriticus. — A sufferer from 
pleurisy. 

Plumbum in XXV 155, points to 
the leaden bluish colour of 
certain eye diseases. Serenus 
XIV 33 : si vero horrendum 
ducent glaucomata plumbum. 

Podagra. — Gout or gouty pains 
in the foot. Sometimes per- 
haps the result of lead 
poisoning. See Spencer's 
Celsus I 464. Pliny (XXVI 
100) says that the disease 
was on the increase in his day. 
The word (often with chiragra) 
refers sometimes to pains 
caused by senile degeneration. 

582 



Porrigo. — Dandruff or scurf (on 
hairy parts). 

Prurigo and pruritus. — Itch ; the 
words can scarcely be dis- 
criminated, although perhaps 
pruritus tends to be used of 
the symptom, prurigo of the 
infection. 

Psora. — Several skin diseases 
are included under this term 
among which aro itch and 
perhaps leprosy. 

Pterygium. — An inflammatory 
swelling at the inner angle of 
the lower eyelid ; another 
name for it is unguis. It also 
means a whitlow. 

Pusula. — Pustule or blister. 

Quartana. — Quartan ague, or 
malaria occurring after inter- 
vals of two days. It was 
reckoned the mildest form of 
the disease. 

Ramex. — Hernia. 

Regius morbus. — Jaundice. 

Rhagades. — Chaps. 

Rheumatismus. — Catarrh, 
whether of the nose, throat 
or stomach. 

Rosio. — Gnawing pain in the 
chest or bowels. 

Rupta. — Torn muscles etc. 

Scabies. — Not our scabies, which 
is caused by the itch mite, 
but described by Celsus (V 
28, 16) as a hardening of the 
skin, which grows ruddy and 
bursts into pustules with 
itching ulceration. It in- 
cludes many types of eczema. 
Scabies of the bladder, a dis- 
ease of which the symptom was 
scaly concretions in the urine. 

Scabritia. — Diseased roughness 
of fingers, nails, eyes, etc. 

Scelotyrbe. — Lameness of the 
knee or ankle. 



LIST OF DISEASES 



Siriasis. — Probably some form 
of simstroke. 

Spasma. — Cramp. 

Splenicus. — Suffering from en- 
larged or diseased spleen. 
Enlargement of the spleen is 
a common after-effect of 
repeated attacks of malaria. 

Stegna. — See noteon XXIII 120. 

Stomacace. — Scurvy of the 
mouth. 

Stomachicus. — It is doubtful 
whether this means " one with 
stomach trouble" or "one with 
disease of the oesophagus." 
It is a word not much used by 
medical writers, but Caelius 
Aurelianus has a section on 
disease of the oesophagus. 
Although the Romans dis- 
tinguished (Celsus IV 1) 
stomach from oesophagus 
(stomachus can mean either), 
they appear to have described 
under the same name their 
morbid conditions. In English 
"stomach," at least in popu- 
lar speech, is equally vague. 

Stranguria. — Strangury. 

Struma. — A scrofulous sore. 

Suffusio. — Usually cataract. 

Suspiriosus. — Asthmatic. Ap- 
parently a popular word, as 
it is rarely found in the 
medical writers. 

Syntecticus. — One wasting away, 
from whatever cause. 

Tertiana. — Tertian ague, ma- 
laria with an onset every 
other day. 

Testa. — A brick-coloured spot 
on the face. See XXVI 163 
and XXVIII 185. 

Tetanus. — Tetanus. See Celsus 
IV 6, 1 with Spencer's notes 
on opisthotonus and empros- 
thotonus. 



Tormina (neut. pl.). — A general 
word for colic. It also soine- 
times means strangury. 

Tremulus. — One with morbid 
tremors, palsied. See XX 85 
paralyticis et tremulis. 

Tuber. — A hard tumour. 

Tumor. — Any morbid swelling. 

Tussis. — A cough — the com- 
plaint rather than the act. 

Tympanicus. — One afflicted with 
tympanites, a kind of dropsy, 
which makes the belly 
swell. 

Ulcus. — A favourite word with 
Pliny, usually used in the 
plural. Ulcera manantia are 
" running " sores, and ulcera 
putrescentia (serpentia) in- 
clude gangrene and super- 
ficial malignant diseases. 

Unguis. — Another name for 
pterygium, an inflammatory 
swelling at the inner angle of 
the lower eyelid. 

Variz. — Varicose vein. 

Varus. — A pimple on the face. 

Verruca. — Wart, a less wide 
term than clavus. 

Vertigo. — Vertigo, usually giddi- 
ness caused by illness. 

Vitiligo. — This includes more 
than one kind of psoriasis. 
The Pvomans distinguished 
the dull white, the dark, and 
the bright white. Sometimes 
perhaps leprosy. 

Vomica. — Abscess; any gather- 
mg of pus, but apparently 
larger than furunculus. It was 
sometimes internal, but panus 
was superficial. 

Zoster. — This ("girdle disease") 
was herpes round the waist, 
possibly shingles. Pliny calls 
it a form of erysipelas (igni* 
sacer), XXVI 121. 

583 



INDEX OF FISHES 

Index of Fishes, including (marked *) sea-mammals, 
Molluscs, Crustaceans, and other animals. 



A charne, XXXII 145; probably 
Serranus gigas, Great Sea- 
Perch. 

Ac(c)ipenser, IX 60; XXXII 
145, 153; Acipenser sturio, 
Sturgeon. 

*Achillium, IX 148 (cf. XXXI 
125); a fine, soft Sponge. 

* Actinophorae, XXXII 148; 
some spiral univalve, perhaps 
the mollusc Aponais pes-pele- 
cani, Pelican's Foot. 

Acus, IX 166; Syngnathus acus 
and rubescens, Pipe-fish (not 
Belone belone, Garfish). 

Adonis, IX 70; Blenny, pro- 
bably Blennius Montagui. 

Alabeta, V 51; Labeo niloticus, 
Lebis (Labis). The name 
should be alabes. Pliny mis- 
took aXdfirjra for a nom. case. 

Alopex, Alopecias, XXXII 145; 
Alopias (Alopecias) vulpes, 
Thresher Shark. 

Amia, IX 49; Sarda sarda and 
probably Thynnus pelamys, 
Pelamid (a Tunny). 

Anguilla, IX 4, 73 ff., 160, 189; 
XXXI 36; XXXII 16, 138; 
Anguilla anguilla, Eel. 

Anthias, IX 180, 182; XXXII 
13; a name applied to several 
species of fish. It includes 
(certainly in Pliny) Anthias 
anthias, but also larger 



fish, perhaps a large Tunny, 
such as Qermo (Thynnus) 
alalunga: and three sorts of 
anthias mentioned by Oppian, 
possibly Sciaena aquila, Cor- 
vina nigra and Umbrina 
cirrosa (or instead of C. nigra, 
Serranus gigas, a Sea-perch 
or Polyprion americanus Jew- 
fish, Stone Bass). Pliny's 
anthias may contain a con- 
fusion with acanthias, which is 
Squalus acanthias, Picked (or 
Piked) Dogfish, or Centrina 
Salviani. 

Aper (or caper), XI 267 Para- 
silurus aristotelis, a species of 
catfish. 

Aphye, see Apua. 

*Aplysia, IX 150; a coarse 
" unwashable " kind of Sponge, 
not the mollusc Aplysia 
depilans (Sea Hare). 

Apua, aphye, IX 160; XXXI, 
95; XXXII 145; the young 
(small fry) of various species 
of fish; also in particular 
Engraulis encrasicholus, An- 
chovy. 

Aquila, IX 78; perhaps Mylio- 
batis aquila, Eagle Ray. 

Araneus, IX 155, XXXII 145; 
Trachinus draco, Weever, and 
the like. 

*1Arbor, IX 8; XXXII 144; 
unknown, perhaps a huge 

585 



INDEX OF FISHES 



jolly-fish or octopus, or even 
a mass of sea-weed. 

*Aries, IX 10, 145; XXXII 
144 ; perhaps a large Dolphin ; 
or Orcinus orca = Orca 
gladiator, Grampus, Killer 
Whale. The " other arietes 
having the shape of fishes," 
which Pliny mentions in the 
same sentence of XXXII 144, 
are uncertain. 

Aselli, IX 61; principally Mcr- 
luccius merluccius, Common 
Hake, also Phycis mediter- 
rancus, Mediterranean Hake, 
and P. blennioides, Fork-beard 
Hake. 

*Astacus, IX 97; Homarus 
gammarus, Lobster. 

Attilus, IX 44; a large sturgeon, 
such as Huso huso, Giant 
Sturgeon. 

*Aulos, XXXII 151 = Solen. 

Aurata, see Chrysophrys. 



[Babylon, fish at IX 175; 
probably species of Perioph- 
thalmus, Mud skipper, Jump- 
ing fish]. 

Bacchus, IX 61, one of the aselli 
q.v.; in XXXII 77, 102, 145, 
a species of Grey Mullet, per- 
haps Mugil labrosus. 

*Balaenae, IX 4 ff., 12-21, 41, 
186; X 210; XI 235; 
XXXII 116, 144; Whales, 
especially Eubalena glacialis, 
Black Right Whale; Mega- 
ptera novaeangliae, Humpback 
Whale; Balaenoptera muscu- 
lus, Common Rorqual or 
Blue Whale; B. borealis, 
Rudolph's Rorqual; B. Sib- 
baldi var. Indica, a var. of 
Sibbald's Rorqual (Pliny's 

5 86 



huge whales in Indian waters 
would probably be the latter) ; 
and Physeter catodon = macro- 
cephalus, Sperm Whale. 

*Balanus, XXIII 145; sea- 
acorn, chiefly Balanus cylin- 
dricus and B. tintinnabulum. 

Batia, XXXII 77, 145; Raja 
punctata or some other Skate. 

Batrachus, XXXII 145 ; Lophius 
piscatorius, Angler-fish. 

Belone = Acus, q.v.; in XXXII 
145 perhaps Belone belone, 
Garfish. 

Blendeca, Blendius, XXXII 102; 
probably Blennius gattorugine, 
Blenny. 

Boca, XXXII 145; Box vul- 
garis (Box boops), Bogue. 

Bos, IX 78; XXXIII 52; 
Mobula giorna, Horned Ray, 
or perhaps the Grey Shark, 
Notidanus griseus. 

*Bucinum, IX 130, 134, 138, 
Ranella gigantea or Charonia 
lampas, Trumpet-shell. In 
IX 130, 134, and 138 the 
name includes also a Purple- 
Shell, Purpura haemastoma 
and Murex brandaris. Not 
Whelk. 



Callarias, = Collyrus, IX 61; 

XXXII 146; one of the 

aselli, q.v. 
Callionymus, XXXII 69, 77, 

146; probably Uranoscopus 

scaber, Stargazer, rather than 

Lophius piscatorius, Angler- 

fish. 
*Cammarus, XXXI 96; XXXII 

148; one or more kinds of 

shrimp and prawn. 
*Cancer, sea-, VIII 79; 62, 

95-99, 158; X 199; XI IX 



INDEX OF FISHES 



129, 152, 258; XVIII 293; 
XIX 180; XX 120, 180; 
XXIX 101; XXXI 35, 53, 
54, 55, 71, 82, 87, 105, 110, 
111, 116, 119, 126, 129, 131, 
132, 134, 135, 147; Cancer 
pagurus, the Edible Crab and 
others; IX 98, 142 Hermit 
Crabs and Pinna-Guard Crabs ; 
see Pinoteres; river-, XXXII 
53, 54, 56, 78, 88, 90, 100, 103, 
107, 114, 117, 118, 125, 130, 
137 Astacus fluviatilis it 
seems mostly, Freshwater 
Crayfish; but also Potamon 
fluviatile, Freshwater Crab ; 
sea- or river-, XXXI 82, 87, 
105, 111, 119, 126, 129. 

Canes marini, IX 40, 110; small 
Dogfish or small Sharks, 
especially Galeorhinus galeus, 
Tope, and Scyliorhinus cani- 
culus, Dogfish. 

Caniculae, IX 52; Sharks; cf. 
Canes. 

Cantharus, XXXII 146; Spon- 
dyliosoma cantharus, Black 
Bream. 

Caper, see Aper. 

*Carabus, IX 97; Palinurus 
elephas, Crawfish, see Locusta. 

Cercyrus, XXXII 152; perhaps 
Cepola taenia, Red band-fish. 

Cetos, IX 78, 157; XXXII 10, 
82; *a whale or dolphin, or a 
very large fish especially a 
tunny. 

Chalcis, IX 154, 162; XXXII 
30, 146; probably Clupea 
sardina, pilchard. 

Channe, IX 56, 166; XXXII 
153; Paracentropristis cabrilla 
and P. scriba, Sea Perch. 

*Chema, XXXIII 147; a term 
mostly f or various members of 
the genera Chama, Venus, 
Cardium, and similar types. 



Chromis, IX 57; X 193; 

XXXII 153, Sciaena aquiln, 

Maigre, or Corvina nigra, 

Black Umber. 
Chrysophrys = Aurata, XXXII 

43, 145, 152; Sparus aurata, 

Gilthead. 
Cinaedus, XXXII 146, 153; a 

species of Wrasse, perhaps 

Crenilabrus melops, Gold- 

sinny. 
Citharus, XXXII 146; perhaps 

Arnoglossus laterna, Lantern- 

flounder. 
Clupea, IX 44; possibly *Lam- 

petra planeri = Petromyzon 

branchialis or marinus, a small 

Lamprey. Elsewhere, usu- 

allv the shad. 
*Cnfde = Urtica, XXXII 146; 

a Sea-anemone. 
Cobio, XXXII 146; see Oobio. 
Colias, XXXII 146; Pneumato- 

phorus colias, Spanish Mack- 

erel. 
Collyrus (Callarias), IX 61; 

XXXII 146; one of the aselli, 

q.v. 
Coluthia, see Coryphia. 
*Concha, shell of any mollusc, 

bivalve or gastropod; in 

XXXII 93, concha is a special 

name for a mussel. 
*Conchylia, IX 128; collective 

term for snails and mussels. 
Conger, IX 57, 72, 87, 185; 

XXXII 148; Conger conger, 

Conger Eel. 
Coracinus, V 51; IX 68; 

XXXII 56; Tilapia nilotica, 

Bolti; IX 57; XXXII 70, 

106, 127, 145; Corvina nigra 

or Umbrina cirrhosa and 

Chromis castanea. 
Cordyla, IX 47; XXXII 146; 

very young Tunny-fishcs. 
Cornuta, 19, 43; 1X82; XXXII 

587 



INDEX OF FISHES 



145; unknown, but perhaps 
Mobula giorna, Horned Ray, 
or the Grey shark, Notidanna 
griseus, or the Piper, Trigla 
lyra. 

Corvus, XXXII 146; Umbrina 
cirrhosa or Corvina nigra. 

*Coryphia (Coluthia), XXXII 
147; small molluscs, such as 
Winkles and Top-shells. 

*Cucumis, IX 3; one of the 
Echinoderma; a Sea-cucum- 
ber, Sea-gherkin, cf. XXXII 
147. 

*Curaliu?n, XXXII 21-24; 
XXVIII 164; cf. XIII 135, 
140; Corallium rubrum, Red 
Coral. 

Cybion, XXXII 146; a Tunny 
of a certain age, or a cut or 
preparation from a Tunny. 

Cynops, XXXII 147; un- 
known. 

*Cynosdexia, XXXII 148; an 
Octopus. 

Cyprinus, IX 58, unknown, un- 
less in mari in 58 is an error; 
162, Cyprinus carpio, Carp. 



*Dactylus, IX 184, bivalve 
molluscs such as Lithodomus 
lithophagus, Date Shell, and 
Pholas dactylus, Piddock; 
and Tellen or Sunset-shells; 
XXXII 151= Solen. 

*Dclphinus, VIII 91; IX 19 ff., 
50, 57; X 210, 235, 263: 
XVIII 361; Delphinusdelphis, 
and other species of Dolphins, 
which are not fish. In VIII 
91 the "dolphins " which tear 
open crocodiles are probably 
two species of fish of the Nile 
— Synodontis schall, Shall and 
Schilbe mystus, Shilbe. 



*Donax, XXXII 103 = Solen. 

Draco, IX 82; XXIV 180; 
XXVI 31; XXVII 50; XXXI 
96; XXXII 44, 45, 47, 79, 
148; Trachinus draco, Weev- 
er and allied species. 

Drino, XXXII 145; unknown. 

E 

Echeneis, Echenais, IX 79; 
XXXII 2-6, 139, 148; Eche- 
neis remora, and E. naucrates, 
Sucking Fish; in IX 79 it is a 
goby or blenny. 

*Echinometra, IX 100; Echinus 
acutus, E. melo, and Cidaris 
cidaris, Sea-urchins. 

*Echinus, IX 40, 99, 147, 164; 
XI 165; XVIII 361; XXVIII 
67; XXXI 95; XXXII 58, 
67, 72, 88, 96, 103, 106, 127, 
130,148; various Sea-urchins, 
esp. Echinus esculentus and 
Strongylocentrotus lividus. 

* lElephantus , IX 10, unknown; 
— hardly Walrus of the far 
North?; *XXXII 148, Homa. 
rus gammarus, Lobster, dark 
coloured. 

Elops = Acipenser, IX 60, 169; 
XXXII 46; Acipenser sturio, 
Sturgeon. 

Enhydris, any kind of eel; cf. 
Ophidion. 

Epodes, XXXII 152; flatfish of 
uncertain identity. 

Erythinus, IX 56, 166; XXXII 
101, 139, 148, 152; certainly 
one of the perches, perhaps 
Anthias anthias. 

Exocoetus, IX 70; Blennius 
Montagui, a type of Blenny. 



Faber, see Zaeus. 



5 88 



INDEX OF FISHES 



Galeos, XXXII 25; a Dogfish 

or a Shark. 
Garos, XXXI 93; XXXII 148; 

Smaris smaris, picarel. 
Gerricula, XXXII 148; Smaris 

smaris, picarel. 
Girres, XXXII 148; Smaris 

smaris, picarel. 
Gladius = Xiphias, IX 3, 54; 

XXXII 15, 145; Xiphias 

gladius, Sword-fish. 
Glanis or glanus, IX 145, 

XXXII 128, 148; Parasilurus 

aristotelis, a species of cat- 

fish. 
Glauciscus, XXXII 129, 148; 

unknown. 
Glaucus, IX 58; XXXII 153; 

unknown; may be a Dogfish 

or a Shark. 
*Glycymaris, XXXII 147; a 

mollusc, probably Yenus ver- 

rucosa; certainly a Clam. 
Gobio, IX 175; here perhaps 

Baleophthalmus Boddaerti ; IX 

176, perhaps the lung-fish; 

177; here perhaps Gobius 

exanthematicus, cf. XXXII 

146; various Gobies, especi- 

ally Gobius niger; includes 

Gobio gobio, the fresh-water 

Gudgeon. 
Gonger, see Conger. 



*Halipleumon, XXXII 149 = 

Pulmo, a Jellyfish (Medusa). 
Helacatenes, XXXII 149; 

(doubtful reading), perhaps 

sharks or dogfish. 
*Helix, XXXII 147, a type of 

spiral univalve of uncertain 

identity. 
Helops, XXXII 153; see Elops. 
Hepar, XXXII 149; one of the 



larger marine gadoids, per- 

haps a species of Ling. 
Hippocampus, XXXII 58, 67, 

83, 93, 109, 113, 139, 149; cf. 

IX 3; Hippocampus anti- 

quorum, Sea-horse. 
*Hippos perhaps hippeus"! (cf. 

Aristot. H.A. iv, 2, 3.) IX 97; 

Ocypoda cursor, Runner Crab ; 

so also perhaps in XXXII 

149. 
Hippurus, IX 57; XXXII 149; 

Coryphaena hippurus, the 

" dolphin-fish." 
Hirundo, IX 82; XXXII 149; 

Exocoetus volitans, Flying 

Blenny, or Dactylopterus voli- 

tans, Flying Gurnard. 
*Holothurium, IX 154; an un- 

known zoophyte animal re- 

garded as related to Sponges. 
*Homo marinus, IX 10 ; XXXII 

144; unknown; African 

Manatee? 
Hyaena, XXXII 154; Puntazzo 

puntazzo, Puntazzo. 



Ichthyocolla, XXXII 72; Great 
Sturgeon, Acipenser huso; in 
other passages isinglass, a 
glue made from the Stur- 
geon. 

Ictinus, XXXII 149; probably 
Dactylopterus volitans, Flying 
Gurnard, or Exocoetus voli- 
tans, Flying Blenny. 

[Indian fish, IX 71. These are 
especially Anabas scandens, 
Climbing Perch.] 

Isox, IX 44; Salmo salar, 
Salmon. 

lulis, XXXII 94, 149; a 
Wrasse, probably Coris julis, 
Rainbow-Wrasse. 

Iulus, XXXII 152; unknown. 



589 



IXDEX OF FISHES 



Lacertu* marinus, XXXII 140, 
149; Pneumatophorus colias, 
Spanish Maekerel, and Tra- 
churus trachurus, Horse 
Mackerel = Scad. 

Lamia, IX 78; a large Shark, 
such as Carcharias carchar- 
odon, Great White Shark. 

Lamirus, XXXII 149; perhaps 
Pagellus erythrinus, Becker. 

[Larius and Verbannus (Lakes), 
fish in, IX 69; probably 
species of the Carp familv, 
Rutilus rutilus, Roach; Idus 
idus, Ide; Abramis brama, 
Bream.] 

Laser, XXXI 25, 44; unknown. 

Lelepris, XXXII 149; some 
kind of Wrasse. 

*Leo, XXXII 149; cf. IX 97; 
Nephrops norvegicus, Lion- 
crab. 

*Lepas, XXXII 149; a Mediter- 
ranean Limpet, especially 
Patella Lamarckii or the like. 

*Lepus marinus, IX 155; XX 
223; XXIII 108; XXIV 18, 
20; XXV 125; XXVIII 74, 
129, 158, 159; XXIX 104; 
XXXII 8, 9, 48, 54, 58, 59, 
68, 70, 88, 104, 110, 135, 149; 
Aplysia depilans, Sea Hare (a 
" Sea Slug "). In IX 195 one 
of the spiny Porcupine-fish of 
the Indian Ocean is also rc- 
ferred tn. 

*Limax, IX 162; XXX 56, 79, 
101, 139; generic term for 
slugs. 

*Locusta, IX 95-6, 158, 164, 
185; XI 152; XXXVI 89; 
PaUnurus eh phas, Crawfish. 

*LolUgo, IX 83, 93, 158, 164; 
XI 215, 258; XVIII 361; 
XXXII 15, 149; Loligo 

590 



vulgaris and other Squids, 
especially Ommatostrephcs 

sagittatus, a large kind. 

Lucerna, IX 82; = Uranoscopus. 

Lupus, IX 57, 61, 169; X 193; 

XXXI 15; Moronc labrax, 
Sea Basse; XXXI 95, En- 
graulis encrasicolus, Anchovy. 

M 

Maena, IX 81; XXVI 23, cf. 
127; XXXI 83; XXXII 83, 
88, 90, 100, 105, 107, 126, 128, 
149; cf. 152; Mendole, Maena 
maena, M. osbeckii, and M. 
jusculum. 

Maeotes, XXXII 149; cf. 146; 
in Pliny, apparently small 
horse-mackerel and young 
tunny or pelamid. 

*Maia, IX 97; a large Crab, 
probably Maia squinado or 
else Homola barbata; possibly 
also Lithodes Maia. 

[*Margarita, pearl, got from 
Margaritifera margaritifera = 
Mytilus margaritiferus, Pearl 
Oyster, IX 106 ff. Inferior 
pearls came from Mussels, 
Oysters, Pinnas and Fresh- 
water Mussels.] 

Marris (better mariof), IX 75; 
perhaps a type of sturgeon. 

[Melaiidrya, IX 4S; cuts or cut- 
lets of fieXdvBpvs, a kind of 
large Tunny.] 

Melanurus, XXXII 17. 149. 
152; Oblade, Oblatamelanura. 

Mena, see Maena. 

Merula, XXXII 149; a species 
of Wrasse, perhaps Uoi 
rostratus. 

Milvus = Ictinus, IX 82. 

*Mitulus, Mytdlus, IX 160; 

XXXII 95, 111, 149; Mytilus 
edulis, Mussel. 



INDEX OF FISHES 



Mormyra, XXXII 152; Pagellus 
mormyrus, a Sea-Bream. 

Muqil, IX 54, 59, 144; X 193; 
XI 185; XXXII 104; several 
forms of Grey Mullet, especi- 
ally Mugil capito and M. 
cephalus. 

Mullus, IX 64, 66, 67 ; XXXII 
8, 25, 44, 70, 91, 104, 120, 127, 
138; Red Mullet (Surmullet), 
Mullus barbatus and the 
larger M. surmuletus. 

*Mvrena, Muraena, IX 73, 
Petromyzon marinus, Sea 
Lamprey; IX 76, 77; mostly 
Lampetra planeri, River Lam- 
prey. In all other passages 
Muraena helena, the fish 
Murrv, Moray is meant: IX 
71 (76), 89, 169; XXVIII 14; 
XXXII 12, 13, 14. 57. 

*Murex, V 12; VI 201; IX 80, 
102, 125, 130 ff., 160, 164; 
XXII 3; XXIII 83; XXXII 
68, 78, 82, 98, 106, 108, 127, 
129, 149; Purple-Shell-fish, 
especially Murex brandaris, 
M. trunculus, and Purpura 
haemastoma. In XXXII 84 
probably Turritella commu- 
nis is meant. In IX 80 it 
appears that a Cowrie (pro- 
bably Trivia monacha or 
Cypraea lurida) is described. 
Musculus, IX 186; cf. XI 165; 
Naucrates ductor, Pilot-fish; 
see also next item. 
Musculus marinus, XI 165; 
XXXII 144; here Pliny 
confuses the little Pilot-fish, 
Naucrates ductor, with 
*\Vhalebone Whales; these 
would bo Eubalena glacialis, 
Black Right Whale; Mega- 
ptera nodosa, Hump-backed 
Whale; and species of 
Balaenoptera, Rorqual. 



Mus marinus, IX 71; Balistes 
capriscus, File-fish, or Tetro- 
don lineatus. In IX 166, 
probably by error for emys. 
The mistake perliaps arose in 
Greek from mis-reading or 
mis-hearing rj 8' ifxvs or o 8' 
ifxvs as if it were rj 8e (jlvs or 
d Se [mvs. 

Mustela, IX 63, principally the 
Hake and Rockling, Phycis 
sp. and Motellasp.; asafresh- 
water fish, chiefly Lota lota, 
Burbot, but sometimes *Lam- 
petra fluviatilis, Lamper-eel. 

*Mya, IX 115; species of Unio, 
Freshwater Mussel. 

*Myax, XXXII 95-98; perhaps 
Mytilus edulis, Mussel. 

*Myiscus, XXXII 98, 149; 
probably Modiolus barbatus, 
Bearded Mussel. 

Myrus = Zmyrus. 

*Mys, XXXII 149 = Mitulus. 

*Mytilus, see Mitulus. 

Myxonl, see Bacchus. 



N 

*Nauplius, IX 94 = Nauti- 

lus. 
*Nautilus, IX 88, 94 (Nauplius), 

103; (Veneria) Argonauta 

Argo, Argonaut = Paper Nau- 

tilus. 
Novacula, XXXII 14; perhaps 

Xyrichthys novacula, a species 

of wrasse. 



O 

Oculata, XXXII 149; probably 

Oblata melanura, Oblade. 
Odinolytes, XXXII 6 = 

*Onyx, XXXII 103, 134; species 
of Razor-shell, Solen; and of 



59i 



INDKX OF FISHES 



Piddock. Pholas or Litho- 
domus. 

Ophidion, XXXII 109, 149; an 
Eel or a related fish ; includes 
perhaps Oxystomus serpens. 

Orbis, XXXII 14, 149, 150; 
probably a species of Globe- 
fish. 

*Orca, IX 12-14; XXXII 144; 
probably Orcinus orca, Gram- 
pus, Killer Whale. 

Orcynus, XXXII 149; a large 
specimen of a Tunny. 

Orphus, IX 57; XXXII 152; 
either Serranus gigas, a Sea 
Perch or Polyprion ameri- 
canus, Jew-fish. 

Orthagoriscus, see Porcus. 

*0strea or Ostreae, II 109; V 
180; IX 40, 52, 154, 160, 161, 
168; X 129, 189, 192, 195; 
XI 129, 139, 226; XXVIII 
66; XXXI 96; XXXII 59, 
60, 64, 93, 149; a general 
term for bivalve molluscs, but 
properly Ostrea edulis, Oyster. 
See especially II 109; 1X154, 
168; X 129, 189, 192, 195; 
XI 139; XXVIII 66; XXXI 
96; XXXII 59-65. 

*0tia, XXXII 149; Haliotis 
tuberculata, Sea-Ear or Ormer. 

*Ozaena, IX 89; an ill-smelling 
species of Octopus, probably 
Eledone moschata and possibly 
also E. Aldrovandi. 



*Pagurus, IX 97; Pagurus 

bernhardus, and other Hermit 

Crabs. 
\Paphlagonia, somo fishes in, IX 

178; probably Cobitis fossilis, 

a kind of Loach.] 
[*Parasites on fish, and other 

" Sea Fleas," and " Sea-lice," 



all Crustaceans, IX 154. See 

also Scorpion-like parasites; 

Pcdiculi; Phthir.] 
Parus, XXXII 152; unknown. 
Passer, IX 72; Pleuronectes 

platessa, Plaice, or else 

Platichthys flesus, Flounder. 
Pastinaca, IX 155; XXII 146; 

XXVIII 162; XXXI 25, 44; 

XXXII 57, 79, 83, 133; 

Trygon pastinaca, Sting Ray. 
*Pecten, IX 101, 103, 147, 160, 

162; XI 139, 267; XXXII 

103, 150; species of Scallop, 

especially Chlamys = Pecten 

varius and C. Jacobaeus. 
*Pectunculus, IX 84; XXXII 

70, 150; a small or young 

Scallop. 
*Pediculi marini, XXXII 77, 

89; apparently Sea-lice, small 

crustaceans. 
Pelamys, IX 47; a year-old 

tunny; XXXII 105, 107, 146, 

149, 150, 151; a species of 
Tunny, Sarda sarda, Pelamid ; 
sometimes smaller species or 
verv young Tunny. 

*Peloris, XXXII 99, 147; pro- 
bably Psammobia vespertina, 
Sunset-shell. 

■>.*Pentadaetyli, XXXII 147; 
unknown. 

Perca, XXXII 145; Perca 
fluviatilis, Perch, and Para- 
centropristis scriba and related 
species, Sea Perch; IX 57; 
XXXII 107, 116, 126, 130, 
Paracentropristis scriba. 

*Percis? Pegris?, XXXII 150; 
unknown mollusc. 

*Perna, Pin{n)a, IX 115, 142; 
XXXII 150, 154; a bivalve 
mollusc, Pinna nobilis or else 
P. fragilis, Pinna-shell. 

Phagrus, phager, IX 57 ; XXXII 

150, a species of Sea Bream, 



59- 



INDEX OF FISHES 



perhaps Pagrus pagrus ; 
XXXII 113, probably Hydro- 
cyon forskalii. 

*Phocae = Vituli marini. 

*Phthir, XXXII 150; not, it 
seems, as D'Arcy Thompson 
thought, Echeneis remora and 
E. naucrates, Sucking Fish; 
but some Sea-louse, a 
crustacean. 

Phycis, IX 81; XXXII 150, a 
species of Wrasse, probably 
Crenilabrus pavo. 

*Physeter, IX 8; XXXII 144, 
cf. IX 4; probably Sperm 
Whale, Physeter catodon — 
macrocephalus. 

*Pin(n)a, see Perna. 

*Pinoteres, IX 98; Pagurus 
bernhardus and other Hermit 
Crabs; also Pinnotheres pin- 
notheres, Pinna-Guard Crab; 
in IX 142 we have the Pinna- 
Guard Crab and also the 
carid Pontonia pinnophylax = 
tyrrhena; cf. XXXII 150. 

Piscatrix, IX 143; Lophius 
piscatorius, Angler-fish. 

Pistrix, XXXII 144; Pristis 
antiquorum, Saw-fish. 

*Platanista, IX 46; Platanista 
Qangetica, Gangetic Dolphin, 
Susu. 

*Polypus, IX 40, 71, 78, 83, 
85-93, 158, 163, 185; X 194, 
195; XI 133, 199, 225, 258; 
XXXII 12, 121, 150; species 
of Octopus, especially Octopus 
vulgaris. 

Pompili (accompanying ships), 
IX 51, a shoal of Tunny; 
Pliny errs. Tunny-shoals do 
not follow ships. These were 
pilot-fish, wrongly identified 
as Tunny. XXXII 153, 
Naucrates ductor, Pilot-fish ; 
IX 88 (where pompilus is a 



mistake for pontilus = 

ttovtLXos). *Argonauta argo, 

Argonaut = Paper Nautilus. 
Porculus marinus, IX = Porcus. 
Porcus, XXXII 19, cf. 56, 150; 

Centrina salviani. 
Pristis, IX 4, 8, 41; Pristis 

antiquorum, Sawfish ; and 

other quite different fish, and 

even *Whales. 
Psetta, IX 57; Pleuronectes and 

Platichthys sp., Plaice and 

Flounder. 
*Pulmo, IX 154; XXXII 102, 

111, etc; species of Jellyfish 

(Medusa). 
*Purpurae, IX 124-141; see 

Murex. 

R 

Raia, IX 78, 144, 161; Raja 

batis and similar kinds of 

Skate or Ray. 
Rana, IX 143; Lophius pisca- 

torius, Angler-fish. 
Rhine = Squatus, XXXII 150; 

Squatina squatina, Angel- 

fish. 
[Rhinobatus], IX 161; Rhino- 

batos rhinobatos, wrongly al- 

leged to be a hybrid between 

Angel-fish and Skate. 
Rhombus, IX 52, 72, 144, 169; 

XXXII 102, 145, 150; Scoph- 

thalmus maximus, Turbot. 
Rota, IX 8; probably Ortha- 

goriscus mola. 
Rubellio, XXXII 138; probably 

Pagellus erythrinus, the Bec- 

ker. 



*Saepia, see Sepia. 
Salax?, XXXII 151; unknown. 
Salmo, IX 68; Salmo salar, 
Salmon. 



593 



INDEX OE FISHES 



Salpa, IX 68, 162; XXXII 151; 

Sarpa salpa, Saupe. 
Sarda, XXXII 46, Sardina 

pilchardus, Sardine or Pil- 

chard; XXXII 151, a large 

pelajm/s. q.v. 
Sargus, 1X65, 162, 182; XXXII 

151; Diplodus sargus, Sargue, 

Sargo; and D. vulgaris. 
Saurus, XXXII 89; Trachurus 

trachurus, Horse Mackerel. 
Scarus, 1X62; XI 162; XXXII 

11, 151; XXXVII 187; 

Sparisoma cretense, Parrot- 

\\ rasse. 
Sciadeus, XXXII 151; Sciaena 

aquila, Maigre and related 

species. 
Sciaena, IX 57; XXXII 106, 

151 = Sciadeus. 
Scias, XXXII 151 = Sciadeus. 
*Scilla = Squilla. 
*Scolopendra, IX 145; XXXII 

151; species of Nereid worm. 
Scomber, IX 49; XXXII 151; 

Scomber scombrus, Mackerel. 
Scorpaena = Scorpio. 
Scorpio, XX 150; XXXII 44, 

67, 70, 102, 127-128; Scor- 

paena scroja and S. porcus, 

Sculpin. 
*[Scorpion-like parasites on 

Tunny, Brachiella thynni; 

on Sword-fish, Pennella filosa, 

IX 54]. 
*Sepia, IX 83, 84, 93 (its eggs 

perhaps IX 3, uva); Sepia 

officinalis and other Cuttle- 

fish. 
Serra, IX 3; XXXII 145; 

Pristis antiquorum, Sawfish. 
Silurus, V 51, Lates niloticus, 

Xile Pereh ; VI 205, unknown; 

IX 44, Lates niloticus; 1X45, 

Silurus glanis, Sheatfish; IX 

58, 165, Parasilurus aristotelis; 

XVIII 293, unknown; 



XXXII 90, 93, 94, 104, 111, 

119, 125, 126, 131, probably 

all Lates niloticus; XXX II 

145, unknown. 
*Shiiones = Delphini. 
Smaris (Ztnaris), XXXII 108, 

128; Smaris smaris, Picarel; 

and related species. 
Smyrus, XXXII 151, see Zmy- 

rus. 
Solea, IX 52, 57, 72; XXXII 

102, 151; Pleuronectes solea, 

Sole, and allied species. 
*Solen, X 192; XI 139; 

XXXII 151; species of the 

bivalve mollusc Razor Shell, 

especially Solen coarctatus. 
Sorus, XXXII 151; Scombresox 

rondeletii, Skipjack, Skipper. 
Sphyraena, XXXII 154; Sphy- 

raena sphyraena, Barracuda. 
*Spondylus, XXXII 154; Spon- 

dylus gaedaropus, Thorny 

" Oyster." 
*Spongea, IX 146, 150; XXXI 

123-131; species of Sponge, 

especially Spongia officinalis 

and its variety mollissima. 
Squalus, IX 78; smaller Dog- 

fish and Sharks. 
Squatina, IX 40, 78, 144, 161, 

162; Squatinasquatina,Aage\- 

fish. 
Squatus, XXXII 150; = 

Squatina. 
*Squilla,Scilla, IX 158; XI 152; 

XXXII 151, species of Palae- 

mon, Prawn, and Crangon, 

Shrimp; IX 142, probably 

Pontonia pinnophylax = 

tyrrhena. 
*Stellae marinae, IX 154, 183; 

XXXII 44, 151; various 

Starfish. 
*Strombus, XXXII 117, 129, 

151; some species of spiral- 

shclled mollusc. 



594 



INDEX OF FISHES 



Sudis = Sphyraena. 
Synodus, XXXVII 182; Dentex 
dentex, a Sea-Bream. 



*Teredo, XVI 220; Teredo 
navalis, Ship-worm. 

*Tethea, XXXII 13, 93, 99, 151; 
species of Sea-squirt, espe- 
cially Phallusia mammil- 
lata. 

Thranis, XXXII 151; Xiphias 
gladius, Sword-fish. 

Thrissa, Thassa, Thessa, XXXII 
151; probably Alosa vulgaris, 
Shad. 

*Thursiones, IX 34; species of 
Dolphin, perhaps Tursiops 
truncatus; or a porpoise. 

Thynnis = Thynnns. 

Thynnus (pelamys), IX 47 ff.; 
X 210; XXXII 76, 87, 95, 
135, 145; Thynnus thynnus, 
Sarda sarda, and other kinds 
of Tunny; on the coasts of 
Spain and France chiefly 
Germo alalunga, Germon = 
Albacore. 

Torpedo, IX 57, 78, 143, 162, 
165; XXXII 7, 94, 102, 105, 
133, 135, 139, 151; Torpedo 
marmorata, Electric Ray; the 
references in XXXII may 
apply in part to Melapteru- 
rus electricus, Electric Cat- 
fish. 

Tragus, XXXII 152, a male 
Maena, q.v. 

Trichias, IX 52, 162; a Sar- 
dine or a Sprat such as Sprat- 
tus pontica or S. sprattus; 
or Sardina pilchardus, Pil- 
chard. 

*Tridacnum, XXXII 63; a 
great mollusc, Tridacna squa- 
mosa. 



Triglis, XXVIII 82 ; = Mullus. 
Tritomus or Tritomum. XXXII 

149, 150, 151; as a fish-name, 

usually = pelamys. 
Trochus, IX 166; = Rota. 
Trygon, = Pastinaca. 
Turdus, IX 52; XXXII 151; 

a species of Wrasse, perhaps 

Crenilabrus pavo. 



U 

*Unguis, IX 101 = Dactylus. 

Uranoscopus, XXXII 69, 146; 
Uranoscopus scaber, Stargazer. 

*Urtica, IX 68; XXVI 51, 88; 
XXXII 135, 146; cf. XXXI 
95 (i) Sea Anemone, espe- 
cially Tealia felina = Actinia 
crassicornis, A. equina, and 
A. cari; (ii) IX 146, probably 
the sea-nettle, Actinia sp. 

*Uva, IX 3; XXXII 138, 151; 
probably egg of Cuttle-fish. 



*Veneria, IX 103; XXXII 151; 
Argonauta Argo, Argonaut = 
Paper Nautilus; but it is 
likely that the name was given 
also to Cypraea tigris, C. 
pantherina and other large 
Cowries; cf. IX 80. 

* Vermes, IX 146 ; huge Worms in 
Ganges, perhaps an exag- 
gerated report of Conger Eels 
or even Leeches. 

*Vitulus marinus, II 146; VIII 
111; IX 19, 41, 50; X 128 
XI 137, 151, 171, 206, 215 
235; XXVI 23, 113, 114 
XXVIII 96; XXXII 57, 83 
110, 112, 116, 120, 130, 144 
usually Monachus monachus 
IVIonkSeal, also Phoca vitulina 
Common Seal. 

595 



INDEX OF FISHES 

Yalpes marina, IX 145; Alop- Z 

ias vulpes, Thresher Shark. Zam ^ IX 6g> X XXII 148; 

Zeus faber, John Dory. 
**■ Zmaris = Smaris. 

Xiphias, XXXII 15, 151; Xi- Zmyrus, IX 76 (XXXII 151, 
phias gladius, Sword-fish. smyrus): Lycodontis unicolor. 



596 



Printed es t Great Britain by 

rlchard clay ast> company, ltd., 

btjngay, sutfolk. 



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fi 



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Greek Authors 

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Babrius and Phaedrus. Ben E. Perry. 

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